We Just Landed ... Can't I Get Some Sleep ???

Paris Travel Blog

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Arc de Triomphe.
     Our tour guide was named Sevy and initially, she was too perky for my taste.  I prize my sleep, and after an all night flight I was ready for some shut eye.  Good, I thought, she's taking us to our hotel!  Sleep a few hours, take a shower, I'll be good as new.  But noooooo!  It was 8:15 and she hustled us off to see the sights.  Grumbling would do no good.  Black coffee and adrenaline kicked in and we were off to the Arc de Triomphe, out first stop.

     I'd seen many pictures of it before and thought it was nice and all that, but it was much bigger that I had imagined, and very intricately carved.  I thought we were going to have to role-play the video game "Frogger" to get to it, but you entered a subway entrance and walked under the Charles de Gaulle Etoile and entered through one of the support legs of the structure.
A French veteran ... some type of ceremony was underway.
  As the pictures reveal, it is quite elaborately carved and decorated.  I found the name Bonaparte on one of the stones.  Sevy told us many of the names were French generals and other high ranking officials.  There is a winding stairway leading to a museum in the top and a panoramic view of Paris is the reward atop the observation deck.  What struck me was how the Eiffel Tower dominated the landscape.

    I enjoyed looking down at the traffic circling the monument.  The Arc sits in the middle of the Etoile, or star.  There were about 10 to 12 roads extending from the Arc, like the spokes of a bicycle.  It is six or seven lanes wide, but no white lines or lane markers.  Not for the faint of heart!

     Back at street level, there is a tomb or marker for an unknown French soldier.  Hard to imagine Hitler's army "goose-stepping" their way through here 65 years or so ago.
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Arc de Triomphe.
Arc de Triomphe.
A French veteran ... some type of …
A French veteran ... some type of…
Steps to the top of the Arc.
Steps to the top of the Arc.
Some of the carvings on the monume…
Some of the carvings on the monum…
Profile.
Profile.
Bonaparte is listed in the center …
Bonaparte is listed in the center…
The imposing Arc de Triomphe.
The imposing Arc de Triomphe.
As seen from the top of the Arc de…
As seen from the top of the Arc d…
Just 2 of the spokes of the Char…
Just 2 of the "spokes" of the Cha…
Traffic?  What traffic?!
Traffic? What traffic?!
Unknown soldier buried at base of …
Unknown soldier buried at base of…
Looking down the Champs-Elysees.
Looking down the Champs-Elysees.
On our way to the boat ride.
On our way to the boat ride.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle outfit?
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle outfit?
Paris
photo by: Sweetski