Europe 2010: Day 8 – Paris July 2, 2010 at 11:13 pm

Day 8: Paris

We woke up earlier, packed and took a cab to St. Pancras to catch catch the train. 2.5 hours later, we arrived in Nord train station in Paris.

Suzanne grabbed a few maps at the station while I lined up in the longest line for taxi cabs I’ve ever seen. Seemed like it took an hour before we got our cab. Our room at the Best Western Victor Hugo was tiny but was conveniently located. After a quick afternoon nap to recover, we headed out for an early dinner (by French standards). We gave up trying to dine at a highly-rated restaurant once Suzanne felt the people there gave us “dirty” looks because we didn’t have a reservation. We ended up in a restaurant down the street where for the first time in our lives, we got to taste the French delicacy: foie gras. Must say that I’m not a fan. The texture is too smooth and too fatty & buttery as a pate for me. I kept thinking of the poor ducks getting force-fed. Glad for the chance to sample it, but probably will not ever order it again. Suzanne’s steak and my sea bass were delicious.

Stuffed, we took a stroll to Arc de Triomphe at Champs-?âlys?©es. The famous arch was commissioned in 1809 by Napoleon after a battle victory. It’s in the center of this giant and very busy roundabout. The cars were constantly criss-crossing in seemingly chaotic traffic. Luckily there are underpasses to get to the arc.

The monument was massive, it felt bigger than in pictures. The facades were adorned with engraving and massive sculptures. I didn’t understand any the engravings, but they had to be commemorating important French battles or something. On the ground at the middle is the tomb of the Unknown Solder who was buried there in 1919. A fire was lit (usually lit at 6:30 PM).

We bought a ticket and head up to the top of the monument. The high panoramic view of the Parisian skyline was just breath-taking with the Eiffel tower visible nearby. We snapped pictures while waited until the sunset. The many avenues leading to the monument were pretty cool, viewed from the top. As the sun sets, the Eiffel tower lights up– what a sight it was.

On our way back to the hotel, we were disappointed that a local bakery that we came across earlier was already closed.

2 Responses to “Europe 2010: Day 8 – Paris”

  1. If you want to experience something odd, and escape the heat, and were a fan of “Les Miz” (the musical), you can check out the Paris sewer museum (les egouts)!!

  2. Hmmm…. that and the catacombs would be cool way to escape the searing heat. Unfortunately, we are not spending a lot of time in Paris, we’re heading out for 4 days to the country-side.

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