Europe 14 - Day 5


Again we were up early for breakfast before heading into the Paris Metro to get back to the Eiffel Tower. We decided that if we got there well before the opening time of 9:30 am the queues would be shorter. Not many of the guide books tell you that the Eiffel Tower is actually quite hard to get to by public transport. Whichever Metro station you choose, there is a reasonable walk. But we got there and the queues were a bit shorter. I had to wait about 20 minutes, then it was up the steps into the elevator car and off to the first level. A short walk around the tower and another queue before I made it to the top.

I had been here before in 2003. On that occasion the queues were shorter and I got to the top level without the crowds. But just as I walked around the first corner a cold wet squall of rain hit the tower. At that moment I had been trying to take a photo of the view across the river and my camera was not behaving. I was concentrating on the camera, learning that the battery had gone flat just as the rain hit. A fresh battery was two levels below and the view had gone, and so had the photo opportunity. I was now back with a new camera that had longer-lasting batteries, a spare battery in my pocket and not a cloud in the sky. Nothing to worry about!

Le Tour Eiffel

I joined the queue as it crept towards the ticket booths. paid my money, had my bag searched, watched the heavily armed Police walk past, recognised the gypsy girls and their money scams from yesterday then I was in the lift car and soaring above the Seine.
* Camera - check!
* Phone - check! (to link up with wife on return to earth.)
* Wallet - check! (not stolen by the gypsies or other low life.)
* Spare battery - check! (Just in case.)
Into the lift car and up to Level 1 for the first view.

Even at 9.30am the queues were getting longer.
Our queue snaked around and around.
Look! The gypsy girls (and boy) with their classic "Please sign my petition" scam.
Colma taking a photo of me in the queue...
And the waving hand is me taking a photo back!
The lift cars of the East Pier.
Security was everywhere. These guys were heavily armed.
The stairs to reach the higher of the two cars.
And then out at Level 1, looking up to the top of the Tower.
A classic brass telescope for that closer look. But at 2 Euro not many people seemed to need it.
Looking across the Seine towards the Trocadero.
I had a "Sommet" ticket so I joined this queue.
This page intentionally blank!
I stepped up to the fence on the top level to take my first photo and Yes, of course, the battery in my camera was flat - AGAIN!
Would you believe it. Second trip to the top and the battery goes flat - again (...yes I would believe it)
But this time I had a fresh one in my pocket - and it worked!
The Seine looking south-west.
The Trocadero from a higher elevation.
A train going over the Pont de Bir-Hakiem. We would cross this bridge by train a short while later.
Looking straight down the tower onto one of the legs.
It was crowded at the "Sommet", especially as everyone wanted their photo taken like this...
or like this.
One of Eiffels' original drawings.
Some of the heavy lift wheels.
And then the queue to go down.
Not easy to take full panoramas on a small crowded terrace. This one looks north-west.
This is south.
Looking east across the Champs de Mars.

From the Eiffel Tower to Père Lachaise Cemetery

After leaving the Eiffel Tower we walked the shortish distance back to the Metro Station of Bir-Hakeim and took the train across the Pont Bir-Hakeim to Trocadero where we changed to the M3 line and wentone stop past the Père lachaise Station to Gambetta were we got off. We did it this way so that we walked mostly downhill through the Cemetery. If you start at the main entrance near Père Lachaise Station you have to walk up hill, and its steep...

Back down on the ground the queues were getting longer
Se we headed across the road towards the Metro
We passed local streets forming avenues of trees.
But whenever you look up you can see....
The Eiffel Tower.
Nearby are streets named after world capitals. This one is New South Wales.
Then we reached Bir Hakeim Metro and waited for the train.
This is one of the older models.
The walls of the Metro carried interesting avertisements.
We transferred at Pont Sèvres. The signboards make it easy to get around on the Metro.
Here we came out at Gambetta Metro. The Sign to the Cemetery is obvious.
The fountain in the middle of the road.
Well-stocked flower shops...
Must be a cemetery nearby.
Here is the entrance to Père Lachaise.

Père Lachaise Cemetery

The Cemetery is only a short walk from the Gambetta Metro Station. As soon as you enter you realise how big this cemetery is, how many people are buried here, and how much granite and marble has gone into the headstones.

View down one of the pathways from the Gambetta entrance.
There is a lot of black granite and white marble here.
Close to the entrance is this tomb, with a high perpex shield to stop people reaching up and leaving lipstick kisses on... Oscar Wilde!
There avenues of tall trees throughout the cemetery.
And many famous names. This is the Brunel family of Marc and Isambard fame - early British engineers.
Also close to the entrance are several memorials to The Holocaust.
Another view of the Holocaust Memorial.
This black tomb with gold lettering is the Piaff family....
including Edith Piaff the singer.
A view across a lot of expensive marble.
There are many elaborate tombs as well.
And plenty are very old, judged by the moss growing on them.
Some family tombs are huge,
and stretch skyward.
We walked down another avenue of trees.
This one could have come straight from Lord of the Rings.
And this looks more like a wedding cake.
There are plenty of scultures also.
This one was Marechel Suchet (2 March 1770 - 3 January 1826). One of Napoleon's most brillant generals.
Joachim Murat (25 March 1767 - 13 October 1815). Admiral, King of Naples and brother-in-law to Napolean Bonaparte.
Falling off his horse - presumably this is how he died.
On a gentler note, this one had lots of flowers...
And admirers...
including the Cat - the grave is for Chopin.
A sailor perhaps?
Another cat. "Mother. May the earth rest lightly on you"
Another one with lots of flowers.
Jim Morrison of course.
The final path downwards.
Towards the main entrance.
The map of the Cemetery.Chopin is No. 20 and Jim Morrison is No. 30.
The main entrance.
Nice vehicle. The residents are mostly quite wealthy.


Back to previous day back button --------- forward button Forward to next day

Return to Trip Index

Last updated: 18/08/2014