Saturday morning we were knackered from all the walking we'd done the previous day, so after another ketchup-less breakfast (I mean, what the hell??), we hopped onto the metro straight into Trocadero, and walked along the bank to the Eiffel Tower. The queues are slightly intimidating, but pick a queue that's for the stairs only and it moves relatively fast. Entry to the 2nd floor is 5 euros and 10 to the very top, so we splurged and made the most of it. I'm not scared of heights, but travelling up the thinnest part of the tower in a glass lift would make even the most airbourne-accustomed person to tremble ever so slightly. The view is incredible, but by god is it cold up there! You can see for absolute miles, and still pick out the (tiny) Arc de Triomphe and (tiny) Place Vendome and (tiny) ferris wheel on Place de la Concorde whilst shivering away.
The queues were worse on the second floor - packed with thrill seekers wanting to go to the top, and then a queue for the lift back down. All this took us about 4 hours, but it was a good start to the day (and a good leg workout climbing all those stairs!).
Later on after exploring a bit more of the left bank we went into Musee D'Orsay at about 4.45, and were delighted to find that they were letting everyone in for free (possibly an hour before closing). Ollie, being the frugal worry-guts was overjoyed, and me, not a fan of spending too long in a museum or art gallery was also pretty pleased. We ran round all the rooms in the old-station, pausing to look at works of Van Gogh, Toulouse-Lautrec (a favourite , and explaining to Ollie about pointillism (dotty paintings) with my GCSE knowledge of art history.
Ollie had done a bit of research before we went on holiday to see where all the craft ale pubs in Paris were, so we headed over to 'The Frog & Rosbif' (116 Rue Saint-Denis, 75002) for a pint of beer. Upon arrival, I realised he'd lured me in under (nearly) false pretences as this was basically a sports bar with every English-person in Paris (known to the French as 'le rosbif's', as apparently we all like roast beef), crammed round several screens to watch the rugby. We stayed for a pint (and wine), but we did not stay for dinner which had been Ollie's plan. Instead we walked around Chatelet, a place where I spent a large portion of my gap year and found a little restaurant to have a meal at, called La Fresque (100 Rue Rambuteau, 75001). The decor is very 'French' - tiled walls, pictures and posters plastering every inch of wall space, and tables crammed in. The wine was delicious, we shared a board of delicious and thick salmon gravlax to start, and MY meal of beef was amazing... I think you can tell where I'm going with this...
Oliver thought it would be wise to attempt another bit of 'traditional' French cuisine, by shunning the Magret de Canard (tasty duck breast) for Steak Tartare. We were both aware of what steak tartare is, but perhaps not what it actually tastes like. It turned up looking like they'd tipped a pot of raw mince meat onto a plate and cracked a raw egg on top... and voila! I tried some, and whilst I can see why it's a 'delicacy', it really has no flavour however much you try and disguise it with the onions, gherkins and other bits of pickles provided. Poor Ollie.
the crazy happenings in my life