I decided to forgo my initial plan of visiting Notre-Dame this morning since it was so late. Instead, I took a walk up Saint Germain, made a mental note to pass there again for shopping, and after standing at a few corners with my map opened and wondering WTF (because naturally, not all of the streets are included in the maps of Paris), I saw this little square:
Then I made it to the Tour Eiffel. Let me just say that I reached the tower (due to my late start) at 11:30 a.m. I reached the ticket counter for the lift after 3 p.m. Lesson? Don't get up late. Oh, and walk with a jacket. It's freezing up there.
At the base of the tower:
The first stopping point before going up the lift again to the Sommet:
Not at the top yet...
Here's the top:
What's there (besides a gorgeous view):
Aaand back down again. I chose to take the stairs to get from the second to the first floor. I do not recommend that unless you like heights, have perfect balance and do not fear falling. I was very slow going cause I am not any of those three. I took the lift from there.
And the base again.
I thawed out in the sun in the Parc du Champ de Mars and got this shot lying on the grass. The kid is in all my shots, bless her.
Then I walked on to the Arc de Triomphe. Now this structure is in the middle of an intersection. A roundabout (sort of) with no crossings indicating how to get there. Seeing as I didn't want to use the repatriation part of my insurance in a high traffic zone, I walked around the whole thing and took this shot:
There was an officer band playing but I couldn't get a picture of it with all the cars passing. Then I saw a sign towards a set of stairs. The entrance is via an underground tunnel. Off I went until I came up and saw this in the middle of the Arc:
And this is one of the images carved on one side of it:
The Arc de Triomphe had something I did not know about. 248 steps. I bought my ticket (which I just realised I could have saved with my museum pass) and reached the entrance. There I saw a sign indicating that there were 248 steps to the top. WTF?! I thought, but like a good trooper (ha ha), I pressed on.
Inside, there isn't much to see. A bit of history about how and why the Arc was built and what it has been used for over the years. It was all in french so I took the English brochure to read another time. There were two more sets of stairs before reaching the top. The view there is quite lovely:
This is what the stairs looked like on the way down:
And after all of that walking, I took the bus to the station near my hotel. I'm smart like that.