Wednesday 12th June
Paris: Eiffel Tower - Bateau Parisien
By 9am, we were on the coach to Paris, armed with cameras and hungry for a day of sightseeing. Our first port of call was the Eiffel Tower, 10,100 tonnes of wrought iron, constructed in 1889 and rising 324m to dominate the Parisian skyline. After the obligatory security checks, we headed up the 669 steps to the second floor, a quite literally breathtaking climb, to catch the lift to the very top, where an even more breathtaking view awaited those of us brave enough to peer over the edge.
Did you know that the tower was built to sway slightly in the wind? We are all aware of that now…
After our descent, Mr Samuel entertained us all with some of his inspired off-the-cuff humour, which is too good not to share: “Why did the Eiffel Tower ironworker love his job so much? Because it was just riveting.”
We managed to stop laughing for long enough to eat a quick lunch before boarding a Bateau Parisien for a sight-seeing trip along the Seine, taking in the Louvre, the Musée d’Orsay, the Eiffel Tower – from a different perspective this time – and Notre Dame along the way. Then it was back to the chateau for dinner and a sing-song (and one or two toasted marshmallows) around the campfire.
P.S. As someone who is terrified of heights, I would just like to publicly thank Mr Samuel for replacing the customary visit to the 50m high Arc de Triomphe with a visit to the 300m high Eiffel Tower and allowing me to face my greatest fear in the company of 60 Year 6 pupils. So, thank you, Mr Samuel; I owe you one.