Paris – Day 3

DSC_0406
Arc De Triomphe* (€9,5/person, €19 total)
Now we’re doing Day 4. A quick metro ride takes us directly to the Arc de Triomphe. I don’t have high expectations here, but it turns out that this is really cool. There’s a museum inside at the top of the arc. I’m flabbergasted to find out that it was planned that way at the time of construction. In other words, Napoleon was like “Hey, we should put some historical stuff up there, and maybe a gift shop.” There’s also a tiny replica of the Arc on display. We’re quickly learning that the French love tiny replicas. It took 348 stairs to get to the top, but it was totally worth it. The views are spectacular.

 

Avenue des Champs-Élysées
We take a walk down the most famous street in the world. I see a sign and we step into a bookstore to purchase Pierre Hermé macarons. They’re good, not great. It’s lunch time, so we stop and have pizza and wine. My pizza has ham and blue cheese. The cheese is pungent, but it’s wonderful.

 

Ladurée
This is what I’ve been waiting for. We spend some time in a long line, before we pick out 8 perfect little macarons to take with us. The lady that is helping us tosses one in the trash when she accidentally cracks the delicate shell. I almost ask if I can have it anyway. I get to pick out a beautiful box to take them home in. I’m in sugary, sea-foam green heaven. (I still have the box. It sits on my dresser.)

 

Place de la Concorde
Two fountains that I thought would be nice for photos. They are, but it turns out the square they’re in is interesting. During the French Revolution, the square was the home of the guillotines. King Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette were beheaded here, as were countless others. Now there’s a pair of beautiful fountains and the Obélisque de Louxor, a symbol of peace. Much more pleasant than a bunch of heads rolling around.

 

Musée d’Orsay (€9/person, €18 total)
This museum is small, but wonderful. A lot of Manet, Monet, and Van Gogh. We spend a lot of time in here, in awe of the collection. There’s also a lot of Renoir, Cézanne, and Rodin. Seriously, so glad we came here. We step onto the roof of the museum and look out over Paris. There it is again, our beacon home, the Sacré-Cœur, in the distance.

 

La tour Eiffel
So here’s the thing — I’m not real big on heights. I usually don’t remember this until I’m up somewhere my brain thinks I shouldn’t be. The mere sight of the Eiffel tower was large enough to remind me that I don’t like heights. The verdict? It’s beautiful from the ground, too. We took some photos, ate some macarons, and relaxed in the park next to the tower. We should have brought wine.