Wednesday, April 15, 2009

La Tour Est Fermée

After our very successful visit to the Orangerie, we were feeling a bit hungry for lunch. Since we had planned to head over to the Eiffel Tower, L & L and I walked over to the Place de la Concorde and hailed a taxi to take us to the café Le Champ de Mars. It's on the corner of Avenue Rapp and Avenue de la Bourdonnais. Right off the Champ de Mars, as the name suggests.

The sign says it all. Except the only mention of the strike is in French, not in English.

Ken and I have been going to the Champ de Mars for years. They have a great selection of lunch salads, all the standard grillades, and more. All of it is very reasonably priced and good, and in good weather they have a huge terrace for outdoor dining. I had a tasty steak/frites for lunch, accompanied by a Touraine gamay, and a piece of strawberry tarte for dessert.

The south-east leg of the tower against the sky.

After lunch it was a quick walk through the park to the Eiffel Tower. I was expecting a mob scene, but as we approached the place looked eerily tranquil. The reason? The Eiffel Tower was on strike! Or, more correctly, the staff of the Eiffel Tower were on strike. The tower was closed.

A Photoshopped view from Chaillot.

I think L was relieved, since she does not enjoy heights and was considering staying on the ground while L and I went up. We walked around under the tower, trying, in vain, to dodge the onslaught of souvenir hawkers. L bought three or four little towers.

Background left, le Panthéon.
Foreground right, l'église du Dôme at les Invalides.

We didn't take the closing too hard since the weather was quite windy and wet and the experience would not have been very comfortable. Still, it was a bit of a disappointment. We walked across the river to the Palais de Chaillot for the views back toward the tower, laughing and having a great time despite the drizzle.

More tomorrow...


  1. Must be springtime... strikes are in the air... or on land... or on sea.
    You know what I mean. ;-)

  2. I love that photoshopped portrait of the Tower.

  3. We were so lucky when we visited the tower - we didn't have to queue at all! Andrew was shocked because he'd been years ago and waited hours to go up. I was amazed at how decorative all the steelwork was on the tower itself.

  4. Great photos, Walt! I always love to get these café and restaurant suggestions, too--thanks!


  5. I love that term "mouvement social" -- kind of a euphemism, it almost sounds like a party of some sort! Great photos -- I had heard about the closing.

  6. The Eiffel Tower was closed when we last went there, on honeymoon. It was New Year and on 1st Jan 1995 the grass around the tower was a sea of empty champagne bottles and dead fireworks. Everywhere was closed but we eventually found a Chinese restaurant open near Les Invalides called the Baguettes d'or, which I think means golden chopsticks, so we didn't have to starve after all.

  7. cheryl, and it's not even May yet!

    evol, you were indeed lucky!

    judy, you bet!

    betty, yes, I know what you mean. It's funny that they only mentioned it in French.

    jean, do you think that it's normally closed on new year's?


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