An American Tourist in Paris
Hello there, everyone, and welcome to the weekend! Well… for those of you visiting from the US, I suppose I’d better wish you a happy Friday instead. You’re almost there! :)
This week we’ve done a bit of touring around Paris. Are your feet getting sore yet from all of the walking? After scouting out some local gems and strolling around several characteristic quartiers, I suppose it’s time that we hit a few tourist traps. Although I’ve visited these quintessential Parisian hotspots before and have, thus, neglected them during subsequent visits, this time I felt drawn to check them out once again. Sometimes a few years and a fresh focus can bring out new details and give you a new perspective.
First up, Avenue des Champs-Élysées and the Arc de Triomph. Although packed with tourists even on an early January afternoon, the flow of pedestrian traffic was smooth enough to enjoy a stroll along the massive rows of shops that make up the Champs-Élysées. There are several boutiques and specialty shops, for all of you chic shoppers, but also plenty of cafes and well-known department stores.
The Arc de Triomph is a beautiful construction… and always bigger than I remember it. For a fee you can choose to march all the way to the top of the monument for a scenic view over Paris. If you’re still a youngin’, the best part about most of the monuments is that they are free to EU residents under 26 (and all other international visitors under 25). Oh to travel a few years back in time…
Another sight-seeing stop I’d marked on my map was the medieval cathedral of Sainte-Chapelle. Tucked between the buildings of the Palais de Justice on the Île de la Cité in the heart of Paris, the cathedral appears unassuming from the exterior. The interior, however, reveals a “jewel box” of a chapel fully enclosed with floor to ceiling stained glass windows. It’s really only one room, though… so don’t expect anything too outrageous or extensive for the 8.50 euro entry price.
And then, of course, the Eiffel Tower. The grandiose icon of Paris. What a lovely lady she is.
We first caught sight of her from Trocadéro Square (probably one of the better and most picturesque views of the tower you’ll find). We didn’t take the stairs or the elevator up to the top this time… instead, our source of entertainment came in the form of bird poop. As we were admiring the structure from below, Monsieuropean got pooped on by a bird. Ha! For once it wasn’t me getting a little extra special souvenir from our flying friends.
Last, but not least, we decided to take the last of our flower friends to a fabulously fitting drop-off spot, the Louvre. We left her atop one of the marble pillars where countless tourists posed for photos with their finger hovering above the tip of the museum’s pyramid. First she was ignored, then she was tossed aside by an American tourist (boo…), until finally two young ladies rescued her from despair. They read her tag, took some pictures, and then called over a gaggle of their girlfriends to check out their lucky find!
It was cute to watch them pose for pictures, the Lonely Bouquet in hand :)
So there you have it… the final chapter of our adventures in Paris. I hope that you enjoyed being a virtual tourist and traveling vicariously to a scattering of places in Paris, both tourist traps and off the beaten path. Thanks so much for joining me! It’s be great fun going back through the pictures and being reminded again of all the special memories :)
Have a wonderful weekend!