When I woke up this morning I decided after a week of very busy days I would take it easy. I went off for breakfast at my usual place. Yes, the crowd was different again for the fourth day in a row. On the way to breakfast I stopped in at a local shop to pick up a few postcards. After breakfast I filled in the postcards then took a leisurely stroll along the Rue Cler market in search of a Post Office.
After mailing the post cards I headed towards the Champ De Mars south east of the Eiffel Tower where I had a close up look at the Wall of Peace. While I was at the Wall of Peace, several folks came by on Fat Tire Bikes and on Segways. They were part of 4 hour Paris tours that run regularly from the base of the Eiffel Tower.
Later I took a couple day time pictures of the tower then caught the metro to Sacre Coeur the Roman basilica on Montmatre. The inside of Sacre Coeur was impressive and the view from the dome was great, although it was quite hazy so it was hard to take good pictures. The neighbourhood around Sacre Coeur was the worse I've seen so far, somewhat run down. I was surprised by the climb to the dome. The stairway and the area up near the dome was filled with graffiti and had lots of trash lying around along with many strange smells.
After the visit to Sacre Coeur I returned to my hotel where I got to try something new. I learnt how to use a French laundromat. I didn't really need to do laundry yet, but I decided I may as well since there was a laundry facility just across the street from my hotel. I don't know when it might be that convenient again. While at the laundromat I had a chance to share what I learnt about using the machines with a lady from Tennessee. She and her husband where staying in my hotel taking part in a 5 day Paris tour put on by Rick Steves. While waiting for the laundry to finish I had a chance to swap stories with her and her husband about Paris and London (they also stopped in London on there way here).
After my laundry was done I went off for dinner at a local restaurant. While there I noticed the fellow next me talking English to the waiter so we started talking. It turns out he is from Genoa, Italy. He travels to the US a lot on business, so his English was quite good. That was great because he gave me a bunch of information about travelling in Italy and in Europe.
In the morning I will be leaving Paris by train. If I can get an overnight train to Madrid I will do that, otherwise I will reserve one for a few days from now and I'll head to the Loire Valley in the mean time. I don't know what kind of internet connection I will find at my next destination, so don't be alarmed if you don't see my web site updated for a few days.
Here's a few pictures from today.
The Wall of Peace.
A Fat Tire Bike and a few Segways.
The Eiffel Tower.
The main dome.
I went up to that area just below the main dome. If you look hard you will see some people in there.
The Notre Dame cathedral is in about the center of the picture a quarter of the way down from the top.
The Eiffel Tower.
The Eiffel Tower is on the left, the Arc De Triumphe is just to the left of centre and about a third of the way down from the top of the picture, and Le Defense (a new big modern arch on the edges of the city) is on the far right of the picture.