Great Touristy Things to do

Just a little climb

The Tour Saint Jacques is also called the Tower of Saint James of the Butchers, because that’s all that is left of their church.

I’ve wanted to walk up it the for eons but it’s only possible for a couple of months a year and then only on a couple of days each week.

Worse you can’t walk up on your own you have to take a tour with a guide.

The guides must be REALLY FIT!!!

There are ONLY 300 steps to the top of Tour Saint Jacques but as you can imagine, by the top everyone is probably a mite dizzy going round and round and round.

So far I’ve contented myself with taking really bad photos because it’s so tall you can’t get the building ‘in’ a photo and of course it needs to be a sunny day.

Walking to the dome of Sacré Coeur is also 300 steps and I did that with my Godparents who were in their early 70s at the time, OK we were desperate to know when we would reach the top but we managed it, so this is possible but you are warned that you shouldn’t do this if you are claustrophobic.

I’m really desperate to do this because I’m in love with their gargoyles, actually I love all gargoyles but obviously I love seeing them up close best. I just don’t know who I could invite to go with me because the achievement needs to be shared.

Unfortunately the Tour Saint Jacques currently is open only in July and the English tours are only on Fridays and Sundays – I’m sure tickets will disappear fast.

At the bottom of the ticket page there are also gift cards for those who want to offer this Tour to someone – would you offer it to your best friend or someone you disliked intensly?

BTW, this is what Wikipedia has to say about it.

Eating Experience Great Touristy Things to do Helpful Information

The very best view of Paris

I think the very best view of Paris is from the Arc de Triomphe and it is even better in Winter than in Summer because Paris is so beautiful when it is lit against the night sky.  Climb these 284 metal steps to get a view of the Paris rooftops and the red, white and blue side of the Eiffel Tower (the other 3 sides are white).  If you are there when it is dark stay until, on the hour, it sparkles for 5 minutes.  Also giggle at the madness which is the sight of buses, cars and scooters on 8 unmarked lanes of cobblestones swerving and screeching below.

On the way down you go through the obligatory shop, but it is one of the best museum shops and don’t miss the small but poignant exhibition on WWI to the right by the stairs. Your Paris Museum Pass works here.

The perfect way to start this evening view is to queue for one of my favourite restaurants, the Relais de Venise, at 6.45pm ready for doors to open at 7pm – the restaurant will fill up completely! There is a fixed menu of green salad with walnuts then a plate of Steak and Chips twice.  The only decision to make is how you want your steak cooked and which of the 3 choices of red wine to order.

If you have space you can order dessert without any guilt, knowing you can walk it all off up Avenue de la Grande Armée to the Arc de Triomphe, just as Napoleon planned it for his army.

Tell me if you agree is it is the best view of Paris.  Come and stay – check availability here.

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Evening sun following a storm

The light can be beautiful in the afternoons, the apartment faces East / West so the sun rises on the balcony and in the evening as it is falling it lights up the stonework reflecting the sunlight back on to the balcony.  In the evening sun following a storm, when the sky is dark and the lead roofs are shiny grey, the contrast is strongest.


3rd May 2015

Everything has been washed clean after a quick lunchtime downpour this morning, 3rd May 2015.


My view from the balcony

Blooming so quickly the ivy has opened at the top of last year’s finishing position. Will my view from the balcony of the green wall-covering get past the beautiful arch to the top of the 5th floor apartments by the end of this year ?