Day 3: Happy birthday Riyan!
Just when day 2 thought it couldn't be beaten on steps, up comes day 3. Well, the Eiffel Tower was always going to be in with a shout!
The day started with Akshay navigating the Paris Metro superbly once more. Today we were serenaded by an accordion player who was busking on the train. We will never get tired of double-decker metro trains.
We arrived at the Eiffel Tower and to the dismay of many children, the top floor was closed, so we just walked to the second floor. All 700 steps of it! Special mention for the children who were scared of heights, but still went up the tower. The children were able to identify all of the land marks that they had visited yesterday. This was especially impressive when one boy said that he could see the Taj Mahal. Er... that would be Sacre Coeur then. From the second floor, we noticed that there were several fountains on Trocadero and a large wading pool, so we headed for it when we got down. The children had all been told to bring dry shorts and tops, so they charged into the water to cool down from the 35 degree heat. It must have been warm, Muneeb had taken his jumper, vest, t-shirt and joggers off. We think we made it onto the local news because they were filming at the time! The children dried off almost as soon as they came out of the water.
A long but beautiful walk along the south bank of the Seine brought us to the Louvre via a water station in the Tuilleries. Everybody drank a bottle full of water and refilled. We managed to get into the Louvre via the shortest queue since Mrs Eagles convinced the doorman that everyone complied with the U26 age requirement! There was only one place to be and that was in the room with Mona herself. Having walked past several statues of men with plenty to boast about, the children were ready to look at a woman instead. Nobody knows what the fuss is about but at least the kids can say they have seen it now. Mrs Eagles turned into an art buff as she went into raptures looking at some of the art that she had studied as part of her French degree. We all know about Eugene Delacroix now (insert eye roll emoji).
Metro again and this time Mr Chapman decided to go a different way from everybody else i.e. he got lost. The only problem was that he had all of the tickets. You can imagine the cheer, when he came down the escalator literally seconds before the train arrived back across Paris. It's a good job we met up with Mr Chapman because the fiercest ticket collectors you have ever known happened to be on our train. Five of them on a mission to ruin people's sunny days.
Before going back to the hotel, the children went shopping in Auchan hypermarket. It was touching to see how desperate they were to buy gifts for their families, or in one child's case, 2.5 litre of coca cola! Back to the hotel for our evening meal and Mrs Eagles got told off because we were late. In perfect French, she lied through her teeth and told the hostess that the Metro had broken down and we had been trapped.... in the heat..... with no water.... children in tears.... blah, blah, blah. The hostess was nearly in tears and showed us to the best seats in the restaurant! Several parents Facetimed into our dinner from a meeting at Abbey Grange. No child cried, but several of the parents were in bits. An evening swim and 32 very excited children went to bed after one epic day (25,358 steps).
M.Mouse is going to have to go some to beat today. Not really sure what Riyan is going to do for the other birthdays he has to come! Maya did say 'This is the best day of my life'. See you tomorrow Mickey.