Monday, August 02, 2010

Paris 14/7/2010 Day Three

It's Bastille Day or as the French call it 14 Juillet. We have been reminded about the official day of celebration by Donny's bff, Dale. Donny says that besides his immediate family, he has known no one else as long as he has known gal pal Dale.

Thanks to Dale's heads up, Donny has made reservations for us at Restaurant 58 on the first level of the Tour Eiffel for the evening so that we can see the fireworks from the tower.

Our day starts with us being awakened to the sounds of planes droning overhead. It seems as though they are going to land in our street. I leap out of bed shouting, "It's a fly over!"

And it is. I grab my iphone and my camera and get some wonderful shots. Because of the view from our window up through the surrounding buildings it makes me think of how the French must have felt during the war. The flyover is spread out over about an hour because the weather is so bad, we later find out, that they have to wait for a clearing in the cloud cover.

I work until it is time to dress for dinner. Donny has hired a cab which meets us downstairs. The cab driver has an awful time getting us close to the tower because streets are blocked off for the firework display due to start at 11PM. We don't mind walking and get to see a very eclectic building covered deliberately in growing plants.

We reach the tower and check in at the Restaurant 58 ticket window. We are told that we will be riding up in the employees' elevator because the tower is closed to the general public today because of the fireworks. We are escorted into the guts of the tower where the elevator is located. There are other people also going to dinner and lots of service people. The ride up is impressive. The elevator is glass so we can see everything.

Donny tried to get us a window table but they were all sold out but he was assured that we would have a good view and we do. Dinner is quite exotic. It is a planned menu so all we need do is eat. Which is almost hard to do because the presentation is so beautiful. The food tastes as good as it looks and we nibble and sip our way through all the courses finishing just in time for the firework display. It gets dark so late that 23 hours in not an unreasonable time for the display to start.

It is amazing looking down on fireworks. Some explode at window level, some below and a few above. It is quite a production and we are glad not to have missed it, although a French gentleman at the table next to us says that it is not as good as last year's.

We plan to hail a cab to take us back to Ile St Louis after dinner but that proves difficult. It is a chilly evening and I buy a scarf from a street vendor. We ask how far it is to walk to Ile St Louis. He tells us far but not complicated, go to the corner, turn right and keep walking. It turns out to be a pleasant walk and not really all that long, about 5 kilometers.

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