Friday, July 5, 2013

Franco Fridays: The Arc de Triomphe

Walking on the Champs Elysees is the quintessential Parisian experience.  At least it was in my mind, and that is where our Sunday evening walk ended.  The beauty of the Arc de Triomphe took me by surprise.  It was definitely my favorite structure in Paris.

 The picture KJ was taking is by far the best.

Haha.  Yes.  Just doing what Americans in Paris do best.

I just thought it was so beautiful.  Notice the ant-like people on top of it to get an idea of how big it is.

It was supper-time, so we found an Italian restaurant with a snooty waiter, the restaurant on purpose, the snooty waiter quite by accident.

When we finished eating, we walked out of the restaurant to a beautiful sunset and the opportunity to climb up into the Arch, which only KJ, Kevin, and myself did.  The rest of the group was kind enough to wait on us.  I'm so glad they did, because it was completely worth it.

We started up the hundreds of stairs at a brisk pace, but after a while my legs were feeling the burn.  Walking in a circle in a stone enclosure is an interesting feeling. All you can see is more and more steps with no end in sight.

The sun was setting in the direction of the arc at La Defense, which we would visit at the end of the week.  That's the rectangular looking "arc" at the end of the road.  The view from the top is magnificent, because the Arc de Triomphe sits in the middle of a round-about, with several roads leading into it from all directions.  It's a really nice look at the city.

I tried to set up my tripod to get some shots of the trailing lights of cars, but I got reprimanded in French.  Somehow you don't have to know much French to understand, "Please put away the tripod, ma'am."  It makes sense.  It was a definite tripping hazard.

We also got a nice view of that famous tower all lit up.

I could have stayed up there a long time.  The weather was perfect that night, so pleasant and breezy.

Going down, down, down

When we reached the bottom, my legs were okay if I put most of my weight on just one leg, but when I tried to straighten them out and evenly distribute my weight, they went to trembling.

There's a light shining on the Arch at night, and it's a beautiful sight, just beautiful.

Our faithful crew waiting on us to speed walk to make our bus back to Rueil Malmaison.

Before the trip, my mind always pictured Paris at night.  It didn't disappoint.

The only thing missing was the music that's always supposed to be playing in Paris streets.  Good thing I had my iPod with our handy France soundtrack.  It completed the night nicely.

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