Another big day with lots of walking, taking in some of the famous landmarks of Paris and arriving back at the Latin Quartier. We started the day with a trip in the RER, going a little against our recent philosophy. However it was needed as we took a trip up to Charles De Gaulle Etoile to visit the Arc De Triomphe.
It’s an amazing thing to behold and you appreciate the grand scale of it more standing a little further back from it cross the road. Magnificent and maybe seems all the more because to get to it you feel like you have to cross the M25 on a bad day. You cannot truly appreciate the road around the Arc De Triomphe until you see the devil may care, all for yourself driving attitude that every driver seems to possess. Thankfully there is a subway to avoid the need to run the gauntlet.
After a short queuing to get tickets we headed up the stairs (194 of them) to reach the first of two internal levels just under the roof. Here many displays and facts are illustrated along with the housing of the obligatory gift shop. After a quick browse we headed up to enjoy the splendid panoramic views of Paris. It’s. great spot to look round and I guess honestly its only detracted from everyone and anyone trying to take photos. It was a pleasant day and we managed to get a few photos before we headed down to take some photos of the Arc itself.
Heading down the Champs Élysées we were struck with hunger pangs (quick exit, no breakfast) so we decided to stop at a cafe, people watch and have some lunch. The interesting thing we noticed was all the the seats face forwards. It takes on the appearance of a cinema with a small table for every two chairs and everyone looking towards the pavement to watch people go by.
After being fed and watered we continued down the Champs Élysées browsing shops and looking around slowly heading towards the Place De La Concorde. All the main designers and labels are present and definitely some of the price tags are not for the faint of heart! We zig zagged back across when a shop caught our eye. About half way down the shops that line the road give way to park land where small vendors sell crepes and refreshments. There were a lot of people about and it seemed at times we were heading against the tide!
We emerged at the Place De La Concorde and the day was wearing on. A maze of pedestrian crossings saw you to the middle safely and from there you had views back up the Champs Élysées looking at the Arc De Triomphe. The Place De La Concorde is famous for being the spot of execution of Louis XVI and his wife Marie Antoinette during the Reign of Terror. From this spot we also had views of the Eiffel Tower (not many places in Paris you can’t see it) and the sun was beginning to set offering quite a spectacular skyline. We headed over to the Tuillerie Gardens to get a better view and managed to get some great shots of the sunset.
The daylight was lost as we headed through the Tuillerie Gardens and it was nice walking through a park at dusk. There were still many people about walking and the temperature was still pleasant enough without being uncomfortable. Emerging from the far side of the park presented us with the Louvre which lit up with the glass pyramid (end of Da Vinci Code) looked fabulous.
We headed back to the hotel along the Seine via a Canadian pub we found and decided to return later that evening for drinks and food. A great way to finish another very walky day!