Dream For Three

We dare not breathe

Today we planned to walk up the Champs Elysees to the Arc de Triomphe, take our lunch cruise on the Seine, and then go up the Eiffel Tower. Since La Place de la Concorde (the foot of the Champs Elysees) wasn’t far from our hotel, we decided to walk there and get breakfast on the way. We stopped not far from La Place de la Concorde and had a semi-traditional French breakfast – croissants, bread, jam, and coffee, although DW added in some protein in the form of eggs and bacon as well. I would mention the brasserie by name, but they all look the same after a while and I’ve forgotten most of the names already.

After breakfast DW realised we had left the confirmation form for the cruise in our room. We headed back to collect it – which was about 10-15 minutes in each direction. We returned to La Place de la Concorde and continued on to the Champs Elysees. It was quite a hike to the shopping secton, but we managed to see them setting up for some upcoming show or parade – possibly to do with Bastille Day.

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(Excuse the slightly blurry photos, there was something over the lens)

Once in the shopping area we quickly realised that most of these were not the sort of shops we could even afford to breathe in – all big name fashion brands. But, it was good to see what was there anyway.

Upon reaching the end of the Champs Elysees we took some shots of the Arc de Triomphe and then figured out how to get to it – crossing the road from any of the outer areas to the Arc was simply not an option. It turned out that there is a tunnel going under the road to the ticket office. We purchased our tickets (to go up to the top) and headed through – it was still early and we managed to beat the rush of tourists. Under the Arc we took a moment to take in the scenery and rest (after our walk) before heading up the steps. The climb up the winding 200-250 or so steps was exhausting, but well worth it. We spent some time on the first level before climbing the last few (about 25-50) steps to the very top. That provided us with some wonderful views over Paris.

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We had seen a video online about the traffic at Arc de Triomphe but, once you see and understand how the Paris traffic system works, it’s not as bad as it looks.

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After the Arc (and descending the 300 or so stairs, including those through the tunnel), we headed back down to the Disney store (one of the few we could afford to enter, apart from souvenir shops), we took the Hop On Hop Off bus to the Eiffel Tower. It was nearing the time to check-in for our Seine Cruise so we decided to find out where it was. It was lucky we did, because we were directed to pier 3, then pier 5, and finally pier 7. However, once there it was easy to confirm and get onboard. The cruise and the meal were very nice, including some live entertainment. All told, the cruise took about two hours.

Returning to the Eiffel Tower we decided to give our legs a rest and take the lift to the first/second levels. This was a long wait in the ticket queue (in the hot sun), followed by another long wait in the lift queue. We finally got up there and had a look around. We decided not to go higher, but managed to get jn the wrong queue. However, because it costs to go up further, and we hadn’t paid, we managed to exit the queue at the front. We then took the lift back down again before catching the Hop On Hop Off bus back to somewhere near the hotel.

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We collapsed back at the hotel, after a day on our feet. DW and I then headed out for a nice French dinner (where I had to use more French than I had anywhere else), and we picked up McD’s for DD on the way back – she had opted to stay in the room, where she had internet access.

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