I arrived in Paris early Monday after a couple of uneventful flights (the best kind). I took the bus from the airport…in retrospect I’d advise the train, I always forget how bumpy bus rides can be, but ended up at the Gare de Lyon and taxied from there to my hotel.
The sun was peaking out here and there and it was in the 40s so I decided to go to Notre Dame and try to climb to the top, which I hadn’t done before. After viewing the interior which is always awe inspiring (this was built mostly between the 1100 and 1300s with everything done manually), I got in line to climb up. The lines are short in December, though the wait was chilly. There was a lot of groaning about how many steps there were (maybe they were expecting an elevator?). The young woman with the gold high heeled shoes was especially vocal. It wasn’t a bad climb and the reward was a panoramic view of Paris. The buildings in Paris aren’t tall in the city center and I could see Mont Marte, Montparnasse and the Eiffel Tower and the Seine, as well as a close up view of some of the gargoyles. There was a second climb to the top level then a spiral staircase back down.
Next stop was Galleries Layfayette, a huge department store. Inside it had an enormous mechanical Christmas tree which rotated and had flying presents going up and down. It was really cool. From the rooftop terrace there was a good view of the Eiffel tower and city.
Jet lag caught me and that was the end of day one in Paris for me.