I’m chronicling my first “Big Group Band Trip” to Europe in 1997 and trying to draw some comparisons to the Europe travel experience of today. Continuing my journal entry…..
June 7, 1997 (continued)…
“After lunch we met the bus and went to the Louvre where some of us tried the “Rick Steves’ guidebook” tour. It worked pretty well, but this is a big museum and after two hours we were pooped. Soon we discovered a café on the top veranda of the Denon wing that served a refreshing orange drink known as ‘Orangina.’ This café was a cool and refreshing change from the crowds in the Louvre.
From the Louvre we walked to the ‘La Boucherie’ Restaurant where we had dinner. The menu was pretty good consisting of salad, wonderful mashed potatoes, and steak.
From here was did sort of a walking tour to the Pompidou, a modern art center. The walk from the restaurant to the Pompidou was fine, but the area immediately surrounding the Center was dirty and a bit seedy. We met our bus at the Bourse and drove to the Eiffel Tower.
We arrived here at the Eiffel Tower at 9:30 p.m. (it is daylight until 10:30). Right away we got our tickets and rode directly to the top. Brian had been fretting for a month now about the elevator ride up the Eiffel Tower. He has always been afraid of heights, roller coasters, and the like. As we were ascending it seemed that the elevator cabin would never stop going up, and up, and up. All I could do was stand there with Brian, crammed into the center, and watch the horizon disappear into the skyline. Finally the elevator stopped. We were at the top and all was well! The views were wonderful, and as we stood on the observation deck we noticed a fireworks display off to the east. The trip back down was crowded too. We had to wait in a long line to change elevator cabins on level two, but we were back on the ground by 11:40 p.m. Once again we rode the Métro back to our hotel (about an hour ride).
Memories from Today: Matt loosing his drumsticks on the bus, Charlotte’s kiss on the top of the Eiffel Tower, walking all day, lunch with my family, an old woman on the Métro, the kids having a good time with their friends,- this is the joy of teaching.
It is now 1:50 a.m. we are due to awake a 6:30 a.m. so I had better get some sleep.