We were up bright and early on Wednesday morning to avoid the extensive queues we had been warned about at the Eiffel Tower.
Built for the 1889 World Fair, the 324m tower was meant to be a temporary addition to the Paris skyline and was fiercely opposed by Paris’ artistic elite. The tower was almost torn down in 1909 and was only saved by the new science of radiotelegraphy.
After a mere one hour wait we found ourselves 276m above the ground on the third level of the tower. I was a little claustrophobic in the elevator but was very happy out in the open air at the top.
The view was magnificent although the height was a bit much for some tourists and there was one white-knuckled woman who refused to peel herself from the inside wall of the platform for fear of falling.
Some facts to calm your nerves: the tower weighs 10,100 tonnes, is held together with 2.5 million rivets and never sways more than 7cm.
After our skyscraper adventure we set off down the av des Champs Élysées towards the Arc de Triomphe. We stopped for crêpes at Le Deauville and accidentally ordered a €7.60 bottle of still water before continuing down the ‘Champs’ to the largest traffic roundabout in the world.
We purchased picnic supplies on our way to the Jardin du Luxembourg in the afternoon and spotted a little park bench amongst Parisians of all ages enjoying the sun, reading books and relaxing in the gardens.
We laid out and indulged in perfectly ripened cherry tomatoes, salami, cheese, hummus, crusty baguettes and olive breadsticks well into the evening.