February 13th, 2007 – by: morgewan
View of the Eiffel tower from the Arc de Triomphe
The title says it all; I am falling in love with this city, although it did not start out that way in the morning.
My day started pretty rough, I couldn't get to sleep until around 2am, and had to get up at 6:30, so I was a little off in the morning to say the least.
But, three cups of yummy coffee later, and things were looking up! I had a very productive day at work, and managed to leave in time to catch the sunset from the top of the Are de Triomphe.
I never made it to the Arc last time I was here, and I must admit I was more impressed by it than I thought I would be. The elevators are being rebuilt, so the only way to get all the way to the top is 284 steps in a tight and winding spiral staircase. Once on top you have an very unique view of Paris with 10 major roads spreading out in a starburst from the center of the arch.
One of the main sculptures attached to the outside of the Arc de Triomphe
I took a lot of photos from the top, and will try to assemble then into a panorama when I get home, but they may be too blurry. It was getting pretty dark by the time I got to the top, and I was unable to fit a tripod in with my luggage, so we'll see how they turn out.
After visiting the Arc I went back to my hotel and got out of my work clothes and into something that made me blend in a little bit better. I went to another little cafe/bar down the street, and decided to be a little braver about what I ordered.
I ended up getting the "Cuisse de Lapin" which was a roasted leg of rabbit covered in Dijon
mustard, and boiled potatoes on the side. To my utter delight, the rabbit was delicious!
I can’t really explain it, but it tasted like dark meat chicken (don't laugh) but had a texture like a very nice piece of salmon.
Looking back up the stairwell in the Arc de Triomphe
To follow it up I had a Soufflé, well it said Soufflé on the menu followed by at least 6 words I won't even try to remember. I was expecting a fluffy light dessert, but instead I received a cylinder of lemon/vanilla ice cream, topped in dark chocolate, resting in a puddle of some sort of potent liquor, with two mounds of whip cream on the side.
It is one of the best desserts I have ever eaten in my entire life, and it ended with me swirling the remaining whip cream up with the liquor and eating that with a spoon after the ice cream was gone. I'm not sure that my dress pants are going to fit me tomorrow.
After dinner I decided to take the Metro down to the Eiffel tower because it was a gorgeous night, and it looks like rain for the rest of my time in Paris.
Me at the top of the stairwell in the Arc de Triomphe
As I was waiting to buy my ticket up, I noticed the man in front of me was attempting to ask the ticket lady if it was ok to take a tripod up to the top. He wasn't having much luck, but finally managed to find out that it was permissible.
As he was walking away I joked to him that I would rent it from him at the top, and he immediately said that I was welcome to use it as much as I wanted. Turns out he is from Brazil and wasn't planning on being in Paris at all, but a girl he met in Spain insisted that he come stay with her in Paris, and once here he was promptly almost killed by her live in boyfriend. He was a rather amusing fellow, and in a mixture of broken English and Spanish we managed to have a great time taking photos at the top of the tower for almost two hours. If I ever want to go down to Brazil I have a good contact there now. :-)
That's about it for tonight; I think my jet lag is pretty much gone now, so I'm hoping to get a good night of sleep.