Yesterday I went to the Tour Eiffel go get a feeling for the area.
First is my surprise that no Metro station is really close to it. The two closest are both on the RER C, which runs along the southern (gauche [left]) side of the Seine. Pont de l’Alma is a fair walk heading downstream and Champ de Mars – Tour Eiffel, regardless of its name, requires a fair walk going upstream. Neither is an unpleasant walk. It is just surprising there is nothing right at this well know location.
Again, there is heightened security. There is fencing just outside of the foot of each of the four pillars. The security check to get in is not complex, but, of course, having it at all means snaking queues. There is one set of gates between the north and west pillars (paralleling the Seine) and another on the opposite side (bordering the Champ de Mars).
Three of the pillars had queues for the elevator to the 1st stage; the east pillar was closed. Each queue had its queue to the ticket booth and then the queue beyond that to the elevator entrance. The west pillar has a special entrance for e-tickets and restaurant reservations. There is a cheaper ticket if you want to climb the 744 stairs to the 2nd stage and not use the elevator.
I did not wait in line, but a ticket, and go up. I was just scouting. So, I cannot say if the elevator to the 2nd stage had a big queue as well, nor anything about the final elevator to the 3rd stage, which is the top.
I had intended to read some in the Champ de Mars (I had brought my Kindle), but I made a last minute decision to do some grocery shopping instead. I took the Metro across town to Rue Muffetard, a well known market street. I walked up and down to get an overview then ended up buying at two shops.
At a boucherie, I got a small, but whole, roasted chicken, some potatoes that had been roasted with the chicken, and a slice of pâté de champagne, country-style pate.
Next was Picard. Picard sells only frozen items, but they are known for having quality items. I got four kinds of frozen vegetables and some frozen mixed berries.
Finally to the apartment via the Metro and up the stairs.