CONTRIBUTED BY MRS. B.
One of our first places to see in Paris was the Notre Dame Cathedral. I really wanted to see the gargoyles that overlook the city of Paris. I love using Rick Steves’ books and his Paris 2014 was a great help! I knew we needed to be there close to opening at 10 am to get up in the towers, we got there at 10:15 am. We knew to go to the left side of the cathedral and get into the line from reading RS book. When you go to the left side there was a large group of people standing around that we thought was the line…it’s not…go past them and walk down the side of Notre Dame to the line. We went on a Wednesday and had to wait in line for 1 hour and 10 minutes. My friend went the following Saturday, arrived around 11 am., and the wait would’ve been 2.5-3 hours.
There are not many free public bathrooms throughout Paris, but there are some here that you may want to take advantage of. If your facing Notre Dame they are to the right down some stairs. It looks kinda like subway stairs, so it took me a minute to find them. There was a long wait for the ladies and an attendant who sent us in, in an orderly fashion; there was no wait for the men. As we found out later the bathroom has weird hours and was closed in the evening. If you don’t feel like waiting or find it closed, for €0.50 you can use the bathroom across the street at Subway.
They only let a certain number of people climb the towers at a time, which causes the wait. During the weekdays they also let in groups of school children, which added extra time to our wait as well. Once inside to buy the tickets, purchase the tickets or show your Paris Museum Pass and get the kids their free tickets. After waiting for few minuets for everyone to get their tickets they allow you to start walking up the stairs to the first tower. My kids counted the stairs as we walked up and down the towers, there were 387 up and again down for a total of 774 stairs we walked.
After you reach the first tower they keep you up there for a set amount of time, so there is no need to rush. Our group was done before they allowed us to continue on. My daughter was scared because she’s not a fan of heights, but the towers are fully included with large mesh wire so it’s safe.
After the set time you’re allowed to climb up to the second tower, although I think the best views were from the first tower. Again you are held up there until the time has passed and then you are allowed to walk all 387 stairs down to the bottom and exit. It’s kinda boring (and could be hot) while your waiting for them to let you back down.
The highlight of the trip was seeing the gargoyles at Notre Dame, so glad I was able to check that off my ‘must do’ list! It’s a gargoyle party, LOL!
Note that there is the large mesh wire surrounding this area and you have to ‘shoot’ in one of the squares to get a clear picture without any of the wire.
From the towers at Notre Dame we got our first glimpse of the Eiffel Tower!
It makes you wonder how they go got all those guys out there on the roof back in the day….
After climbing the towers we went in to see the cathedral, and truthfully after seeing Saint Eteinne in Metz I wasn’t overly impressed by Notre Dame. There was no wait and we were able to walk right into the cathedral, and it’s free to check out the inside. We made a quick loop through the church and then headed off to follow Rick Steves’ Historic Walk.
There were several people inside but it was not crowded by any means, however my friend when the following Saturday and said it was so crowded that they could hardly see anything in the cathedral. So I’d recommend not going on a weekend.
Also walking the stairs can be a bit tiring especially if you’re an older citizen or not feeling well. It gets your heart pumping for sure.
Know Before You Go:
Notre Dame Cathedral – Paris, France
How To Get There:
Approx. 4 hour drive from Spangdahlem. Approx 2 hour 45 minute drive from Ramstein.
From Disney Paris area its about 1.5 hours via bus/shuttle & RER/subway, subway stop is St. Michel
Hop on Hop off bus & Batobus drops off near here.
Get a great birds eye view of the city and visit the gargoyles, plan at least an 4 5 mins to an hour to tour the tours plus however long you have to wait. Also tour the inside of the cathedral as well.
€8,50 or covered by the Museum Pass, also note kids 18 and under are free. You just need to get them a ticket at the register but it is free.