Second day in the dream Paris. The colossal Eiffel Tower is our destination
Day 2: August 2nd
The second dawned a beautiful day, the endless smile on our faces was impossible to hide. We had breakfast and then took some pictures with the Seine and the inn in the background before heading to the subway station. The Eiffel Tower was our destination.
With a map and the train lines chart in hand, we raffled stations, until we finally arrived at Trocadero, the area that houses the monumental structure. I remember our admiration faces, when the colossal Eiffel Tower appeared before our eyes; it is the most visited site not only in France but in the whole world. It seemed like a dream to me. Who would have imagined it? I was really happy and proud to see how far I had come.
As we approached it, we could not stop taking pictures in every possible angle, I felt that there were never enough pictures; I wanted to capture in those images the inexplicable sense of satisfaction and even disbelief that was overwhelming me. I bet my partners felt the same way. We walked down the hill among pleasant gardens adorned with varied flowers towards the area of the tower itself, on the other side of the Seine. Each step was the perfect excuse for a new photograph.
Once under the tower, an extensive line of tourists from all over the world awaited us. Aware of the long wait, we armed ourselves with patience. Eventually, we were able to access one of the tower elevators, which would lead us to witness a real spectacle. We passed the first level, I was recording the ascent; and then we stopped on the second level, from where we could already see all of Paris. The fact of going up even further to the last level was simply an exaggeration for my eyes. I remember that while we were going up I was wondering: 'how much higher can we go?'
Once up, I had a 360 degree view of the city, I could see each of the curves that the River Seine drew over Paris, as if it was flowing calmly; contrary to what was going on in my head, where nothing was calm, it was an explosion of indescribable thoughts and emotions.
The beautiful gardens of the Trocadero were right in front of the tower. The business district could be seen in the middle distance as a contrast to the classic and traditional Parisian streets and buildings. We could also see the famous Arc de Triomphe on the road of the Champs Elysees, not very far from there. In the distance, the monumental Basilica of Sacrée Coeur was appreciated. Anyway, we could see everything from there. Taking a picture was an excuse to let my eyes rest a little and focus on something specific, it was sometimes too much for my eyes. Describing everything is not possible, nor will it be possible to take those panoramic images from my mind. I was grateful for being there.
Afterwards, we went to the so-called Arc de Triomphe. It was quite large, even bigger than those that inspired its architects and that I had also got to know back in my beloved Rome. The way to access the arch represented an enigma, since it is located in the Charles de Gaulle square, right at the confluence of several avenues, including the most important, the Avenue des Champs-Élysées, which runs all the way up to the Concorde square. Soon we noticed that it was accessed by an underground passage, we went through it and finally arrived. After taking many photos and capturing the image of General Francisco de Miranda’s name who was among the participants in The French Revolution, we decided to return to the inn and recover for the already planned visit to the famous Moulin Rouge cabaret.
It was already night time; suddenly we approached the very visited and worldwide replicated Moulin Rouge. We noticed that it was a very curious place, with a lot of history to its credit; then we grabbed some informative triptychs and enjoyed the atmosphere for a while. After noticing that it was getting late, we decided to return. Before going to bed, we went to the inn bar, where the atmosphere was ideal to enjoy an exquisite European beer. That was a long and exciting day.
And so concludes that day in the dream Paris. The following day, a unique and much desired experience was coming, we would travel to London. It could not be a better scenario.
Day 3: August 3rd
The third day dawned full of emotions. I had a mix of joy and anxiety for visiting the city that I wished so much to know since I was a child, London, the capital of the United Kingdom; it seemed unreal to me. I took my bags and headed to the train station. As I was walking, I did like I heard what was happening around me, but inside my mind I was simply shocked, it was London, it was my destiny and I loved that feeling.
Upon arriving at Gare du Nord, the largest and most important train station in Paris, my mates and I reached the emigration area in a hurry. After filling out the tedious emigration cards and answering the British officer's questions, we got on the Eurostar, a high-speed train that would take us across the English Channel, through the sub-aquatic tunnel known as the Eurotunel, all the way to Great Britain. Getting there was one of my most precious desires.
On the way, I could enjoy watching the country landscapes on the outskirts of Paris, passing through cities like Lile and Pas de Calais. Then we entered the tunnel, and in less than an hour we made it to the other side. The landscapes on the outskirts of Dover did not seem very different to those of France to me, but the feeling of finally being to England did exceed any expectation.