[If you’re interested, you can find part II of the stay here.]
The third day, Monday and hence relatively less busy, was when I had planned to visit and ride the Eiffel tower. We headed straight to the Eiffel tower and decided to take the stairs until 2nd floor (as I had read that the views were better from here compared to the very top). Walking the old metallic stairs of the tower was much tougher than I expected! It was a serious workout. There were bits of information about the tower along the stairs. After a tough fifteen minutes and 1.5 liters of water, we made it to the 2nd floor, which is much higher than you’d expect a 2nd floor to be! We could see minuscule humans and structures from a section of glass floor! I thought I was scared of heights, but turns out I am not really.
After taking a gazillion pictures from all angles, we descended down. I was glad the way down wasn’t as exhausting,although I could really use some work-out given the unhealthy fast & junk diet I usually do during travels. We walked around the area and a cloudy, gloomy day didn’t make it any less beautiful. There were street vendors persuading us every step of the way though. We even saw another scam taking place but we quickly walked away.
Missing food is one of the aspects of living far away from home for so long. I wanted to stock up on some Nepalese spices/snacks, and had done a reading about Indian quarter in Paris the night before. We headed off to the quarter. When we were using the city’s metro trains, we frequently saw people busking and most of them were quite good! One guy dancing to Michael Jackson in the shaky, moving train managed to even impress me!
The Indian area was full of Indian restaurants, grocery stores, beauty salons and clothing stores. It felt like a bit of mini-India. It was hard for me to decide what to eat as I wanted to eat everything! My tastebuds were so itching for some hot, spicy flavors. We spotted an Indian fast food place and had batata vada (spiced potato balls) and naan (Indian bread) with very spicy South Indian coconut sauce. It was so good that I have water on my mouth writing about it now! The place was very South Indian, with South Indian music playing and movie star posters on the walls. I had missed this kind of familiar food for so long! As we walked along in what felt like India, we saw a dessert store where we bought some laddu, rasbari and peda (Indian/Nepali desserts). I was in food heaven! Then we went to an Indian store where I bought some groceries, green chilli being my top priority! I live in Lodz (Poland), which has a very small foreigner population and it’s very hard to find even the basic ingredients for a typical Nepalese meal. So I always try to buy something from abroad or Warsaw. I was very happy with my purchases and I noticed that the same Indian snacks and spices were much cheaper here than Helsinki (Finland).
I then saw a little tandoori (marinated chicken cooked in special oven) place and couldn’t resist although I wasn’t hungry. It was delicious but not as good as one can find in Nepal. Then we even had some sweet paan (betel leaf with various nuts and spice filling) as dessert. I was having a treat! After a fun day, we decided to go back to the apartment, leave the stuff, rest for a while and head to the Christmas market area again (I could never have enough of it 😉 ).
It was our last evening in Paris and we were due to return on the next early morning. We spent the evening walking in and around the market area. Took some pictures and had some more roasted chestnuts! The market was much less crowded that day and we could see and enjoy things more. We spent some time drinking beer and some snacks on a nice riverside spot which gave us a view of the glowing Eiffel tower. On the way back, we spotted an Asian restaurant and we had a delicious dinner! Shame I don’t have a picture, but we had spiced grilled chicken, fried noodles, kimchi and coconut dessert. Food is absolutely one of the reasons why I love traveling and I loved just how many options Paris had!
We were sad to be returning the other morning but also glad to have visited one of the most popular cities. I would definitely like to be back, maybe in summer this time! Paris is such a great place to visit, loved it!
[R.I.P to the victims killed in Paris terrorist attacks recently; it’s such a shame that the city once known as the city of lights and love is not as safe anymore.]