Friday, April 13, 2012

Thursday in Paris: Arc de Triomphe

We had a very relaxed start to our day today, we're on vacation after all!

After much discussion, we decided we'd change up our plans for today, as we are seeing a lot of BLUE SKY this morning!  Instead of going to the Louvre, we opt for an "outside" destination-The Arc de Triomphe.  It's a "two line change" trip on the Metro and RER underground train system.   We luck out and find a few escalators in the RER, so that makes it easier on Mom.

A short wait in line for tickets, and we walk down a long hall and up a short flight of stairs, and there it is!

The Arc de Triomphe honors those who fought and died for France.  Construction began in 1806, and it was finally completed in 1836.  It is really very impressive, and I especially like the very detailed sculptures on it's 4 columns.

Here's Mom and Dad at the Arc:

Last year David and climbed the steps to the top, but this year Mom, Dad and I used the elevator to ride up to the small museum (and gift shop, of course!) near the top.  We looked around the museum, and Mom sat in a comfy chair and waited patiently while Dad and I climbed the remaining 46 steps to the top.  The view from the top is beautiful!

Here are some shots Dad and I took from the top:

Sacre Coeur on Montemarte

Eiffel Tower

And here we are!

We walked around the top, taking in the amazing view, and then back down the steps to Mom.  Another easy elevator ride down to ground level, where we stopped to admire the Eternal Flame at the Tomb of The Unknown Soldier.

Our plan for the afternoon was to do a little shopping, Mom wanted a new Paris t-shirt.  She says she's just about worn out her Paris t-shirt from our trip 11 years ago!

We rode the Metro to a station near Notre Dame, and "cruised" the many, many tourist shops looking for just the right shirt.  We found it, but not in Mom's size!  We stopped for a rest and bite of lunch.  We chose a small Greek restaurant, and each had a delicious gyro and fries.

After lunch we strolled around the streets of the St. Germaine area, still looking for a certain t-shirt design.  Still no luck, but we did happen upon one of my favorite churches in Paris, Saint Severin.  Of course, I just had to pop in for a quick look, and Mom and Dad enjoyed it too.

Saint Severin was built in the late 1200's, making it only about a century newer than Notre Dame.  Here's a view of the exterior:

and the beautiful interior:

And the gorgeous stained glass windows, dating back to the 15th century:

After our visit to Saint Severin, we decided it was time to head home.  Finding the nearest Metro station was a bit of a challenge--we'd been wandering a maze of narrow, twisting lanes for a couple of hours, and I was a little turned around!

After much map consulting, street sign reading and gazing around, we finally found our Metro stop.  It was a bit of a trek home, with 2 Metro line changes, but Mom was a trooper.  She never complains about the stairs, she just keeps going!

After getting off the Metro, we made a quick stop at our neighborhood post office to mail some post cards. The nice lady behind the counter was very kind and helpful, and spoke excellent English.

We walked through the Rue Cler street market on the way back, picking up some fruit and a couple of baguettes for dinner.

Dinner tonight was a simple one--baguette, butter, cheese, sausage and sliced apple and pear.  With a nice glass of red wine--it was just perfect!  No dessert for us tonight, though.  I think I just broke my own "Paris rule"!

Tomorrow in Paris:  The Louvre--for sure!  It's our last day in Paris--we are off to Bruges Saturday morning........


  1. That's a lot of walking- glad Mom is able to keep going-
    I have a feeling that her looking for a tee shirt is kinda like when we looked for a certain china pattern? HA HA!
    Nice picture of Dad and You with Eiffel in background.
    Lookig forward to your posting tomorrow.

    1. Oh Debber--not quite! She didn't drag me all over the city looking........

  2. Anothe great day and blog. Your pictures are wondful and I am sure the scrapebook that Deb wants to do will be fantastic! I really liked the picture of you and your Dad. What no dessert? Is that even legal??

  3. What a great blog....loved the pictures...especially you and Dad with Eiffel tower in the background. No dessert Di...that is a rule broken. But your meal sounds great otherwise. Still loving the pictures of your Mom and Dad...and you smiling and loving every minute.

  4. Nice picture of you and your dad.