It doesn’t matter how many times you cross the channel and go to Paris each trip you discover something new and each trip is never long enough.
Last Saturday I dragged my tired self out of my bed at 3:45am. well actually 3:55am swearing under my breathe. All I had to do was get dressed check all window and doors were closed and wait for my 4:15am cab to arrive. Somehow I managed this – honestly could not tell you how or even remember it.
St Pancras at 4.45am is actually quite busy. some of the cafe shops are open, somewhere there is a Starbucks and a costa open as I saw people clutching their coffee fixes as I consumed a energy drink to start my energy.
Catching the first train out on a Saturday morning is rather fabulous the check in is smooth and there are seats – beware of the over charged amount for a croissant after the gate though….
Solo seat, note pad, planning, snooze, ply slap on and as if by magic I arrive at 10am in paris and that first inhalation of air seeps into my pours.
I walk straight to line 4 and in 25 minutes exit via the escalator at the start of Rue odessa. It Saturday and the market is in full swing, I check in to the hotel leave my bag at reception and look for Breakfast.Adrien my usual waiter at Cafe Liberté welcomes me and bring Petit dejeuner and un cafe noir and I feel the happiest and most relaxed I have been in months. No more edits, No more book two, No more job hunt, No more self doubts and fears about what has happened to my life and it current state of utter mess. It was just me and Paris reconnecting like old friends.
I always stay near Montparnasse. I always stay in the same hotel, Hotel Odessa. I love the food market on Saturdays with the variety of fresh food and clothes. But I must be the only person I know, who loves the Tour Montparnasse. For me when I see in life or in pictures my hear sings. But until this trip I had never ventured up to the observation tower. Over my cafe and croissant I decided it was time to head up the building that meant so much to me.
The motivation for this decision was that days before my stay, the Parisian mayor, Anne Hidalgo, had announced a renovation program for the 1970s skyscraper. The new plans involve a sky garden like that in the Gurkin in London and a lighter new modern exterior look. But I wanted to see her before her make over, she her as my memory loves her.
The view was magic. I found myself spellbound. My heart drummed in my chest and I felt alive. The crisp autumnal sunshine showed the city off to her best. I decided then and there that I needed to stop dreaming and start working towards making this city my new home. As the minutes passed the bells of the major churches chimed; they reminded me to not dream too long but to get back into the city and feel her while energy while I could.
The price for the entry to the tower is 17€ for an adult and that would get you access twice. If you wanted to be there very early or late to see the sun rise or set then the ticket was 24€. You can still enjoy the view if it is a bad day as the tour has an inside viewing deck on Floor 56. also on that floor is tacky a gift shop and a place to get refreshment. There were also guys trying to get you to pose for a picture like a theme park ride. This area is tired but in all honesty if you were going all the way up the Tour Montparnasse for a cafe then you are doing Paris wrong.
Was it worth it? For me yes but that might be because The Tour Montparnasse holds a very special place in my heart, but for others I would urge you to wait until the renovations are complete and take go and take in the best view in all the world in the luxury of a renovated observation area.