Friday, March 28, 2014

Paris: Part Two

Prior to getting to day two, the evening before I spent an hour or so planning out my next two days – I wanted to maximize my time – but also not miss out on some of my personal must sees before heading back home. I consulted my maps, thought about what would interest me most, and what made the most sense in proximity to each other. I realized later that I probably could have used another few days to get in a couple more museums and enjoy more of the area. I guess that’s a good enough reason to hope for another trip over to France in the future.

I started day two with a metro trip over to the Arc de Triomphe de l'Étoile, as it’s one of the other more famous landmarks of Paris. I also wanted to see some of the details up-close and personal, and make my way up to the top for some breath taking view, since I am too much of a sissy to go to the top of the Eiffel Tower. I will say that this is in the center of one of the scariest street intersections – a major rotary if you are from New England, like me, or a roundabout for those of you from elsewhere. I did figure out quickly that there was an underground pathway to the Arc, and got right in line to get my ticket to go to the top.  I wanted to see the view from the top, and there are so many views from here. I also felt more secure, and saved myself a panic attack atop the Eiffel Tower (safety first folks, safety first). It was bit cloudy, but it was great to spend time up at the top and learn about the Arc construction.

From the Arc, I made my way down the Champs de Élysées, for an early afternoon of shopping and lunching. I tried to avoid stores we have back home in the states as what’s the fun in shopping where you can at home. I poked around and ended up with two cream colored tops – one long sleeved and one short- clearly, I had a theme going. I love watching people in the shopping district on a weekday, you get the tourists, but you also get a lot of people who seem to do this daily. I really enjoy making up stories about people’s background while sauntering around.

After my shopping adventure, I headed over to the Musee de Armee, or the National Army Museum, because I really wanted to see the World War II exhibits. I always find that I am drawn to learning more about this time, so I thought why not take some time and go to that section of the museum. When I arrived, I found a military ceremony taking place, so I stopped and tried to figure out what was going on, but there was band, some marching and a gentleman gave a speech. I still haven’t figured out what was going on, but I definitely couldn’t resist some snapshots and taking in the grandeur of the event.  I really wish I knew what was taking place, but it was still neat to see something like that without planning it.  After the ceremony was completed, I spent the rest of my time touring Napoleon’s tomb and the World War I & II exhibits. I am always a bit fascinated by the histories of the wars from different countries, since we are so versed in the American side- particularly when the second World War really kicked off for us so many years later then in Europe.

My final bits of the day were spent having wine and dinner near my hotel, there’s something about getting a craft of wine at the end of a long day.  

I've got one more day to go, hopefully you are enjoying reading about my travels.

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