Gaining a bit of confidence that we could navigate through Paris by foot and metro, we set off to explore the Arc de Triomphe and Champs-Elysées.
Planned in the mid-19th century by Baron Haussmann and commissioned by Napoleon, the magnificent 165-foot Arc de Triomphe was built to commemorate Napoleon’s 1805 victory at the Battle of Austerlitz. At the foot of the arch, two centuries of Parisian history unfold, from the funeral of Napoleon, the arrival of the Nazis, and the triumphant return of Charles de Gaulle after the liberation of the Allies. Beautiful carvings on the pillars and an eternal flame that marks the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier grace the arch and the base. Once inside we climbed the 284 steps to the observation deck, where we took in the panoramic views of the city and the 12 arteries (roadways) radiating out from the arch. This is the only place in Paris where, if there is an accident, each driver is considered equally at fault. No matter the circumstances, insurance companies split the costs 50/50.
We took the lift back to the base of the arch and strolled the Champs-Elysées, the internationally famous boulevard that has become Paris’ backbone. When we entered the Tuileries Garden, we made our way over to the Orangerie Museum, another of our favorite museums in the city. It is the closest you will come to stepping into an Impressionist painting. Although we enjoyed many of the various artists’ paintings, Monet’s Water Lilies were the most striking.
We had an adventure planned for that evening so decided that a midday rest was in order. After strolling through the Tuileries Garden we hopped onto the metro, where Terry was to experience a different kind of adventure.
Everywhere we went we heard “beware of pickpockets”, particularly on the trains, metro and other crowded public spaces. While standing next to him on a crowded metro, hubby was suddenly surrounded by three young (12-13 year-old) girls, one making eye contact with him, while another went for his bag. As soon as I noticed the little one maintaining steady eye contact, I heard a very stern “What are you doing?” coming from hubby as he grabbed a little hand. The one with her hand in his bag scurried away as quickly as she could, not successful on this day.
Before leaving Paris we all decided that an evening Seine River tour was a must. The company we chose provided a lovely one-hour cruise filled with interesting historical facts. One of the more interesting facts we learned about the Eiffel Tower was that it initially was intended to last only 20 years. Since it now has become the symbol of France it is routinely painted every 7 years, requiring 60 tons of paint and 3 years to complete.
This wrapped up another incredible day in the City of Light.
24 thoughts on “Touring the City of Light ~ Part Deux”
I did not know that about painting the Eiffel Tower, it must be a good contract to get if you’re a painter although not very creative. You’ve timed the weather perfectly this year, it looks glorious there. The pickpockets are a blight but glad you both managed to thwart them!
I was surprised about the Eiffel as well Ste J. The weather in Paris was wonderful. It has been raining the past few days but that is not deterring us. 🙂
What a lovely day! I’m surprised how young the pickpocketers were! Starting them young makes them less suspicious, I guess. But they didn’t fool Terry:) The evening river cruise looks beautiful:) I thought of you as I was packing to come to my mother’s for two weeks. I brought three large bags for the two of us!!! Guess I don’t travel light:)
The evening cruise was a relaxing, beautiful way to end the day. I did pack light but toting around my carry-on on my back becomes noticeably heavy as the minutes tick by. 🙂
Always a pleasure to share your travels. Looks as though you are having a marvelous time. Good catch on the little pickpockets.
Glad to see that Terry realized those girls were not just interested in his body 😉
Didn’t know that about the Eiffel Tower. We would definitely enjoy a night cruise on the Seine. Was that something you booked online before you left?
It startled me a bit when he raised his voice to those girls but then I quickly realized what was going on. We went online in our apartment the day of the tour and booked the Seine River cruise.
LuAnn I am so glad to hear that Hubby was very observant. I know i was one of those telling warning away about big cities. So glad to hear it all turned out well and no one was injured.
Terry actually startled me when he spoke so sternly to those young girls but it probably saved a loss of his iPhone.
Wow, good thing Terry was so observant! Sadly, it’s not unusual at all for young children to be part of pickpocket rings. What a wonderful adventure you’re having—the Orangerie Museum looks fabulous! I like your description of “walking into an Impressionist painting.” Your header photo of the flower market is beautiful. 🙂
I was a bit startled when Terry was so stern with those little girls but quickly determined what was happening. The Orangerie Museum was wonderful!
such wonderful photos, Lu. Make me feel like I’m there.
Lovely LuAnn! I am playing catch up on the posts and I love these detailed fascinatingly photographed mini posts!!! Excellent job!
I’m very happy for you and especially for Terry 😉 that you get to visit. Not happy about the pickpocket. I’m glad the warnings worked and you kept a good eye! 😉 I hope you know the French song, “Champ Elysees”. I’ve been playing the song all week at work. I get crazy eye or two, but I love the song so I don’t care. 😀
We are having a wonderful time Rommel. I do not know the French song “Champ Elysses”but will certainly be googling it. 🙂
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