The Retirees go Abroad – France Norway UK and Ireland – Lunch in the Tour Eiffel

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Next day – time for a haircut and Kerry and Nerida make great fun of Doug and me in the barber’s chair. After that the pressure is too great – we are surrounded by shops and the girls give in. I decide to walk down to Jardin au Ranleigh and spot the Monet museum – queue from one corner to next. I must be looking European as I am stopped by French people for directions to the museum – which I give in perfect “Ausnch” or “Frenaussie”. Back to the shops without any luck as the girls are still shopping.

We are going to Jules Verne at the Tour Eiffel for lunch to day so back to the hotel to smarten up and then the metro to travel to the Tour Eiffel. Buy the tickets following the instructions given the day before (or so I thought) then jumped the Metro at La Muette travelled to Trocadero to change metro and Nerida saw some signs to Tour Eiffel but when we exited we were at Trocadero (as you would expect) across the river and Pont D’Ilema to the Tour. No good we must travel to Bir Hakiem to get to the left bank. So back on the Metro and exit at Bir Hakiem (there is still 4 blocks to walk to the Tour and we have 10 minutes before our booking at 13.30. Raced down the stairs into the arms of the train police checking tickets. Of course I had stuffed up the selection of tickets buying “jeune” tickets instead of “adult” tickets and they jumped on us with on the spot fines of €33 each. Of course our HSBC credit card had expired on March 1, 2014(heh that is today). 15 minutes later I am rushing the 4 blocks to the Tour where the doorman is talking to a swarthy Arab looking fellow without a booking and saying there was 4 no shows when I pipe up and the doorman expresses regret to the Arab and sends him packing. Not very happy about our Metro experience but jubilant about the lunch we were about to have and the queues of people waiting to go up the Tour and we jumped in ahead of them.

In the restaurant (Jules Verne) we take our seats beside the window and smirk about our view and what is too come. The menu is handed to us and the waitress is already trying to sell us champagne – (“Is the champagne part of our package” I ask but get no answer – Kerry has the maître de’s attention and notices the same time as I did the menu is for 5 or 6 courses not 3 and the price is double our package deal. “Oh no says the maître de the €90 menu is only available on week days”) So after arguing the point with the maître de he politely says “the choice is yours whether you stay or leave” as the waitress pours the champagne for Nerida and puts some nibbles on the table which Nerida has already put in her mouth. S***t! what to do – we all agree it is not something we will ever do again so we decide to stay and live on bread and water for the rest of the trip. Lovely lunch for 3 hours thereafter – now stuffed like Xmas turkeys we go down to the viewing platform (being diners we saved €15 each to go to the viewing platform) and see the sights of Paris along with a throng of the unwashed of Paris (warnings about pickpocket blaring over the intercom).

Feeling chasten by our financial misfortunes we decide we will walk back to the hotel. From Pier Sud to Pont D’Ilema over the Seine into Avenue Delessert and then Rue de Passy (stopping at Le Passy for a reviving refreshment) along Rue de Passy to Place Passy shopping centre through the centre into Rue de L”Anonciation (in all under half an hour) and we are back to our hotel – we did not even have to catch the Metro after all. Very quiet night and no dinner.

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