Paris started with a meet-up at the airport, after which my sister and niece and I took the RER B for Paris. After that, the fun began!

First stop: the Science and Industry Museum! We saw the transportation exhibit, the light&vision/optics exhibit, and a math exhibit. The transportation exhibit included models of the trains that I am now very familiar with (TER, TGV) – as well as interactive sections about building and testing ‘green’ cars, new types of windmills, and a multi-layer map of Paris. My favorite to see was the Geode – but the best thing to play with was the lasers in the light exhibit. There was also a turbulent fountain (a video of which you can see here. Google some studies about turbulent fountains, too)!

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The museum area also had a giant dragon slide! Unfortunately, it was closed for the season – so we could only take pictures of it from afar:

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On our second day, we went to breakfast at a Croissanterie that my niece declared to be “The best ever!” As an added bonus, it was local and therefore did not have tourist-trap pricing.

The first museum of the day was le Musée de Cluny, a medieval museum. It was amazing: the armor, tapestries, church pews, jewelry, gold work, chests, and more were masterfully crafted. The church pews were particularly interesting because the seats were so small no one would ever be comfortable in them – and thus no one would fall asleep! The museum itself is a partially restored ancient building that was probably a monastery.

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Next was the Eiffel Tower. We took a lot of photos before we even got to go up the stairs, and once we were at the entrance we found that the top was closed because of high winds. All three of us made it up to the first level and wow, what a view! It was windy and cloudy, but still, to be there was quite the experience. I braved the stairs up to the second level, which had more of an unobstructed view. It was simply amazing.

I think the thing we noted to be most interesting was the color: the Eiffel Tower is a tan/beige color, not black nor dark brown nor dark bronze, as you’d guess from most of the photos.

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Our final stops were the Arc de Triomphe (which has 300 stairs) and then a few hours in the Aquarium Paris.

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