On Thursday afternoon, we ticked another thing of the kids' to do lists, climbing the tower at Notre Dame. I don't remember exactly what time we arrived but if I had to guess I'd say between two and two thirty and the link snaked from the entrance (at the left side of the church, as you're facing the front), and into the plaza, not reaching the back corner where the crypts lie.
Gargoyle atop Notre Dame
I feared it could be bad (like two hours), but by 3:10 we were at the entrance. Now here are some things to note, the museum pass gets you in free and children under 18 are free. At first, I thought I would climb with the teens, but I hit a wall sometime after our morning chocolate walk and was worried about my vertigo, so we decided to let them go on their own while Mom and I ducked across the street to an inviting cafe.
No sooner had mom ordered her wine and I ordered my beer, than Sammi came running across the street. They would not let them climb the tower without an adult so off I scooted, leaving the shade of the cafe for the winding, stone, confined staircase of the tower.
Something less than the 400 total steps later, we emerged mid-level for a bit of viewing (by the way, almost forgot to mention there's a gift shop halfway up), and to find the wooden steps to the actual bell area, which of course we climbed. We then queued up for our final ascent to the very top of the tower. At this point, Jake suggested we return to the ground but Sammi said, "We didn't start this to only go half-way," so on we climbed.
They limit your time at the top of the tower to about five minutes, which is just about perfect. I mean, after all, you walk around, you take some pictures, what else is there to do?
So once done, we queued up once again for a few moments, (they control the flow in the upper part as there's only one stairway for both up and down) and then we climbed the 400 stairs back down.
Luckily, my beer, though warm, was still waiting and I'm glad I did the climb after all.