007 Travel story: Paris (FRANCE) 2013, day 2/7: Eiffel Tower & Louvre

In order to read this 007 travel story from day 1, please click here

Sunday 13th of October 2013

We went to Cafe Pizzeria Foresta, where we had British breakfast.

Mika

After breakfast we checked out and took our bags to our next hotel Mercure Paris Terminus Nord.
(12 Boulevard de Denain,
129,00 EUR / 1 night, no breakfast included, booked via booking.com)

We got a 6th floor room, number 633. Stunning double bed and extra bed. The room was very nice in every way. 007 stayed here in Ian Fleming‘s short story collection’s “For Your Eyes Only” story “From a View to a Kill” and ate in Terminus Nord’s restaurant in John Gardner‘s book “Death Is Forever“.

“When Bond was in Paris he invariably stuck to the same addresses. He stayed at the Terminus Nord, because he liked station hotels and because this was the least pretentious and most anonymous of them.”

Ian Fleming: “From a View to a Kill”

“Of all the railway stations in Europe, Bond liked the Gare du Nord best. The place held special memories for him. It was also within walking distance of one of his favourite restaurants in Paris – Terminus Nord.

Bistros and restaurants hovering in the shadow of any great railway terminus should normally be avoided. Inevitably their clientele consists of birds of passage, people leaving and arriving at the station. So it follows that the service is perfunctory, at best; at worst, slapdash; while the food is only passable. Happily Terminus Nord, directly opposite the Gare du Nord, is a prestigious exception. Its service is impeccable, while the food attracts gourmets who are not merely passing through the French capital or using the railway station.”

John Gardner: “Death Is Forever”

Metro was quite handy when we first understood how it works. The price of a single ticket is 1.70 euros / person. We traveled by subway close to the Eiffel Tower.

Mika & Pirita

Then we went to see the place on Avenue d’Eylau, where was SPECTRE headquarters in Sean Connery movie “Thunderball“,

Emilio Largo (Adolfo Celi) in front of SPECTRE headquarters in “Thunderball”
Photo © EON, United Artists, Danjaq LLC

and then to the place from “A View to a Kill” where Bond grabs Renault taxi at the foot of Eiffel Tower and runs down the stairs.

Bond uses a short cut in the movie “A View to a Kill”
Photo © EON, United Artists, Danjaq LLC

We had pre-booked tickets (total 120 euros / 3 persons) to the Eiffel Tower. The agreed time of our visit was 12.30 PM and we needed to be there 15 minutes before. It was good that we were ahead of time, because there was 20 km running event on-going and the finish line was in front of the Eiffel Tower. We needed to find our way to another side of the road where runners came to the finish line and it showed to be quite challenging task. Nice thing was that the daughter got a medal from some friendly competitor.

We wondered why there were armed soldiers with assault rifles present, but we thought it had to be related to the safety of the running competition. Later in the evening we heard that Eiffel Tower was evacuated in that morning because of the threat call.

We had vouchers in our hands and we waited for a contact person at the foot of the southern pillar. When our guides arrived, they gave us a short presentation how everything works and we were warned about pickpockets. We were able to pass the queue, because we had our tickets and after security checks we moved to the elevator, which took us directly to the second floor. There we bought some souvenirs from the souvenir shop and filmed the scenery and also some places from 007 movie “A View to a Kill“.

                              

Did you know:

Just before the jump off the Eiffel Tower stunt was to be undertaken, two thrill-seeking members of the public made an unauthorized jump off Paris’ famous landmark. It has long been a dare, lark and thrill for people to jump off famous structures without permission. The first of the film’s jumps was so successful that the second jump was canceled thereby eliminating any further risk, cost and time. However, as mentioned in Inside ‘A View to a Kill’ (2000), two of the crew, including Don ‘Tweet’ Caltvedt, allegedly went and made an unauthorized jump as they were apparently so disappointed that they didn’t get to jump off the Eiffel Tower. The non-permitted stunt jump cost them their jobs as it jeopardized the remaining filming of the shoot in the French capital.
Photo of Duran Duran´s music video “A View to a Kill”

Then we moved to the other elevator and after a quite long waiting in the wind and cold weather, we were able to reach the top of Eiffel Tower, which gave us a great view over Paris. It was worth it.

There is also Jules Verne restaurant in the Eiffel Tower, but there would have been needed a reservation. After getting back to the street level, we headed towards Louvre and went to Cafe Des Beaux Arts and ate tasty “Parisienne” cheese sandwiches. The restaurant with same name (name nowadays Alcatraz) has a Bond connection: Bond ate a dinner there in John Pearson book “James Bond, the Authorized Biography of 007“.

“One night, as they were dining in the crowded Restaurant des Beaux Arts, they heard a drunk American call out, ‘Here is the lovely Marthe and her English poodle.’ It was a well-known brawler called Sailor Hendrix. Bond hit him very hard between the eyes, then pushed his head into his onion soup.”

John Pearson: “James Bond, The Authorized Biography of 007

We rushed to the Louvre, took pictures of the glass pyramids.

Pirita

And then we went inside the museum and found the Denon Wing, where was world famous Mona Lisa painting.

Mona Lisa´s smile

Then we moved to the Sully wing, which is the home of Venus de Milo statue. We were in the museum so close to its closing time that the staff didn’t even put stamps to our tickets.

Venus de Milo

“On that former occasion, he had headed through the Arch and across the Louvre, where he ran them a melancholy dance through the many floors and galleries. He had even killed two of the SMERSH death squad: right there among the Egyptian Antiquities on the ground floor.”

John Gardner: “Death Is Forever”

“The spectacular I.M. Pei pyramid entrance to the Musée du Louvre never failed to impress Bond. While it had its critics, the incongruous nature of a pyramid made a glass and steel tubing, surrounded by a structure that saw its origins in the thirteenth century, was the most impressive thing about it.”

Raymond Benson: “Never Dream of Dying”

When day was turning to night we went to day’s last Batobus riverboat cruise tour. It was “Hop on, hop off”- type of tour, but we toured the whole trip, except one station. The price for adults was 15 euros / person and 7 euros / child.

The highlight of the tour was when we reach the Eiffel Tower again. They put flashing lights to the tower and against dark blue sky, we got great photos of the beautiful tower!

Last event of the day was dinner at Terminus Nord hotel’s restaurant. Food and drinks tasted good, however daughter fell asleep at the table.

“Bond ordered a Martini, giving none of his usual directions. The Terminus Nord could be trusted to provide a reasonable facsimile of what he regarded as the perfect Martini – an idiosyncrasy not shared be many of the great experts in the art of cocktail making.

At his kerbside table, Bond had an excellent view of the station facade, and while he examined the menu he also kept an eye out for signs that Harry Spraker was doing his job.”

John Gardner: “Death Is Forever”

This 007 travel story continues here

See the list of 007 LOCATIONS (visited), excluding 007 HOTELS (visited) and
007 RESTAURANTS (visited), which have sections of their own, please follow the links.

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