So we didn't have any hard and fast plans today - which was both good...and bad. How can you be in a city as amazing as Pairs and just wander aimlessly? Well, it didn't help that I was still all stuffed up and it was really warm (and I ended up a little bit red!).
So I've been wanting to go to Bir Hakeim (or Hakiem or Hakim, or BH) to get some of those iconic shots I've seen on IG. (If you've seen Inception, BH figures prominently in one of the trippy scenes). But first...we stopped into a bakery along the way and grabbed some croissants. Then to BH...well, I think the pretty photos must be taken at sunrise/sunset/nighttime as I couldn't seem to find a particularly good angle. Oh well. For our haha of the day, as we were looking over to the Eiffel Tower, there was a family there trying to get a group photo. So the wife asked us to take a photo. No probs. Then she was like, do you want me to take your photo with your husband. I look at the tower and go...um, nah, thanks...lol. What did she think? Well, I really should have since we don't have many photos of us together, but...*shrugs.
So we went over to Champs Elysees (where the night before a man shot a cop and was killed himself. ISIL claimed responsibility. We didn't even know anything about it until I saw it the next morning on FB). Not to be looky-loos, but to go over to the Grand Palais. We thought perhaps you could go inside and look at the beautiful glass dome/ceiling, but as best we could determine, you have to get tickets to go in. There was a Rodin exhibition, but we weren't interested. Some other exhibitions, but nothing that we wanted to pay all that money to see. Maybe next time.
We then walked down and decided to do the Ferris Wheel. OK, so I'm not crazy. I have seen photos of this thing on the Place Concorde and I'm thinking, how could we have missed this the last three times we came to Paris (always in Sept). Well, I just googled it and it is a movable Ferris wheel! And it was only set up from Nov 11/16 to May 15/17. I think it comes back for the winter months! OK, I'm glad I just found out that I didn't somehow overlook a huge Ferris wheel! The price was a little steep, and you get one slow go around as it loads up, then one faster go around. We had an Aussie couple in the gondola with us, so had a nice little chat as we went around.
So after we went into the Tulleries and had a sit down for 10 min by the large pond. Then we were up and off for one of my 'must do's' in Paris...Angelina Pastry on rue de Rivoli. I had seen their beautiful pastries on IG and decided I must try one. They had the most beautiful piece of dessert I'd ever seen - a lovely red rose pastry that I guess was white choc mousse or something like that. It was gorgeous. Alas, it is a pastry they only make in the winter months. I honestly had a hard time deciding. We should have done their tea room and just splurged. But I opted instead for the Bianca. Vanilla white choc and vanilla mousse with a raspberry heart. http://www.angelina-paris.fr/en/new-collection/162-bianca.html Lord, the attention to detail was amazing, right down to the little pieces of gold foil and the 'dewdrops' on the raspberries. I almost didn't want to eat it. But I did, I'm not crazy. We will def return here when we get back to Paris.
Then this is where not having a plan fell apart a little. I wanted to head over to Les Halles, but hubby didn't seem to want to consult the map. I'm very stubborn, so I'm like, OK, I'll just wander over to where I think it is, trying to remember from when we were in the area in 2015. Mmmm, close but no cigar. I did pop into a church, and after getting cranky, the map finally go consulted and we found where we were going. So we went in the shopping area - it's quite huge. There is a multi theatre plex (I can't recall how many screens) and even a huge pool! We had to have our bags checked on the way in (sad commentary on the times). A lot of higher end shops - I don't think we found anything to buy. we did pop into Starbucks for some drinks, but it was too crowded to sit down. Our other haha for the day occurred when we were going to go out a certain exit. A security guard stopped us (they were doing construction, so I don't think the exit was useable). She asked us where we were trying to go and pointed us in the right direction. She apologized for her poor English and I said - well, it's much better than our French - and it got a chuckle out of her.
So then we decided to walk to a restaurant we really enjoyed last time we were in Paris (we had a super delicious burger and potatoes with a cheese dip in 2015). It is a bit of a hike but we meandered along and found it again. Called Buffet Bar and it's down a covered corridor. We just stumbled over it last time. We kinda had lunch and supper as it was 4pm, but we hadn't eaten any lunch that day (just the Angelina for me, and the Starbucks). So we got the same as last time. Almost as good, except the cheese dip seemed a little sharper and I didn't like it as much.
So after our food, we decided to go back to the room (via metro) to relax for a few hours before heading out so I could get some night shots at the Louvre and the Arc. It was about 6pm. Our host had told us the evening before about a new pastry place that had just opened a minute down the street from her apartment. So we went there first and I got a lovely lemon tart to take back to the room and enjoy (two pastries in one day!).
I figured we'd go back out around 8pm but got chatting with our host. We made the mistake of asking her about the upcoming election (not a believer in government, this one). But we also had some nice talks with her about other things. We finally got out at 9pm and took the metro to the Louvre.
I had seen photos on IG of the Louvre pyramid thru an arch - and when we had been there earlier (went over between Angelina and Les Halles) I noticed the area where the shot was taken. So we knew right where to go. Now, I imagine in the summer it would be near impossible to get a shot with no people in it - well, I lucked out. I had to wait a minute, but I managed to get some photos sans people. We walked thru the arch - again, I guess because of time of year there weren't many people about, and I got a lot of shots with no people. There was a small fashion shoot going on (or maybe it was someone doing glamour shots) and I managed to snap a few shots of a an Asian lady in a beautiful red dress, with the pyramid as a backdrop. Shhhh...don't tell. Took some photos down the Tulleries of the Ferris wheel and got some more amazing shots of the pyramid. So glad we went. Next, we hopped back on the metro and went to the Arc. Last time, I did some long exposures to get light trails, but the better shots somehow managed to get a hair/fluff on the lens, and the others - well, it was windy and there was some blur when I zoomed in. I wanted to use my remote but for some reason it wasn't cooperating. Tried doing some long exposures but it was over exposed. I did get a few nice shots, but I have to practice my long exposures more.
We decided to walk down to the Eiffel Tower - it had to have been 11pm by now. We did pass a sad scene - a young (looked like immigrant) family and two small children setting up sleeping bags on the sidewalk. Sad state of affairs. I gave them a few euro and really wished I'd had some candy for the little ones. We got to the Tower area about 11:30 and I took some shots from Trocadero - and can I say - it's quite lively there even at that time of night! We even got some popcorn from a food truck/cart! I was ready to head back to the room (the hot sun gave me quite the sunburn on my chest and neck!) but hubby wanted to see the 'twinkles'. So we made our way across the bridge...part way over decided to stop and then...twinkles! Never get tired of that. So now it was time to head back to the room. We would have walked under the tower (as we did in 2015) but it is now fenced off because of terrorism concerns and you have to go thru security. Meh - back to the room, not arriving until about 12:45 am! Long day. We are lucky we went back to the room after supper to rest!