Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Paris Bus Tour and Arc de Triomphe

There are so many pictures to share, I tend to get a little overwhelmed but here are some of the big monuments/locations we visited. It is fun to go back through the pictures and remember the trip. It was only a few weeks ago, but I can't wait to go back with Justin some day. I loved Paris!!

Here's the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel - located opposite the Louvre was built in 1806 - 1808 to celebrate Napolean's victories in 1805. Topped with soldiers of the Grande Armee.

You can't forget random pictures along the bus tour to get a flair for Paris. The bridges, water, street vendors, cafes...all lend to the feel of Paris...not just the famous points of interest.

Here are a few pictures of Place de la Concorde - one of Europe's most historic squares. Starting our as Place Louis XV, for displaying a statue of the king - later to become Place de la Revolution, the statue was replaced by the guillotine. The death toll in 2 1/2 years was over 1,000 including Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette. Renamed Concorde in spirit of reconciliation and was enhanced in teh 19th century by the 3,200 year old Luxor obelisk, two fountains and eight statues personifying French cities. The famous Champs Elysees is connected to this square. Leslie and I toured the square and then continued up Champs Elysees for some lunch and see the shops.

Here's a wide shot of Place de la Concorde

While in Place de la Concorde we couldn't believe how people drove. There aren't any marks on the road, so to us it looked like chaos on the street. I'm glad we had a bus to drive us around town.

The famous Luxor obelisk in the middle of Place de la Concorde.

Enjoying lunch and resting our feet on Champs-Elysees.

Of course I have to get french onion soup while in France! It was so will never be the same in the US. Leslie's cream of vegetable soup wasn't quite as good, but at least she had the club sandwich to fill her up. The warm soup was so good to warm us up on such a cold day in Paris!

Stores on Champs-Elysees. We were about to go in when we noticed the long line from across the street. So we decided there were too many sites to see in Paris to take time out to look at bags we couldn't afford. Onward we go!

Arc de Triomphe - After Napoleon's victory, the Battle of Austerlitz in 1805, he promised his men, "You shall go home beneath triumphal arches." The first stone of the famous arc was laid the following year however disruptions to the architects plans and demise of Napoleonic power delayed the completion until 1836. Standing 164 feet tall - is now the starting point for celebrations and parades.

The arc doesn't look so huge from across the street, but once you go under the street to walk up to it, you feel like a little ant next to it. If you read my earlier will remember, this is where I lost my bracelet...and later found pieces of it among all this sand and tiny pebbles. May not seem big to you, but it made my day to find pieces of my bracelet with Aiden and Max's name.

More pics of the arc up close. It's grander than I imagined from pictures I had seen.

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier - an unknown French soldier from World War I is buried here.

Getting a picture in front of the arc...luckily the motorcycle guy didn't hit me. That might have ruined my day...but maybe not. If I'm going to be hit by a motorcycle...I would rather it be in Paris!

Next stop....Eiffel Tower!

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