Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Arc de Triomphe and a Late Night Dinner in Paris (Europe #21)

Welcome back to my Paris photo posts!

Besides visiting art museums and cathedrals, I wanted to get at least a passing view of some of Paris's other famous landmarks. One of those, of course, is the Arc de Triomphe. My Paris Pass included a one day ticket to the Hop On Hop Off bus tour. I had taken that from the Louvre, back over to the cathedrals for daytime stained glass viewing, then on to Musee d'Orsay. Then it was off to the Arc! Definitely one perk of being on the top of a double-decker bus is that you can see everything so much better! 

I disembarked at the Arc de Triomphe stop, but then was stymied for how to actually get over to the building itself. It was in the middle of a huge traffic intersection with no pedestrian walkways. I eventually figured out that you had to go down a stairway into a tunnel and go underneath the street and then up the stairs again. By this time, I hated stairs with a passion. I think that actually started in Geneva...

But hey, the guide book said that the Arc de Triomphe had an elevator, so yay!

Anyway, the tunnel area had plenty of food stands, so I picked my favorites -  pan de chocolat and tartelette de framboises. I know good food when I see it! 

So anyway, I finally ascended to the Arc de Triomphe, showed my pass, and waited for the next group to be admitted. Meanwhile, there was some sort of memorial ceremony going on.

All those names of famous soldiers! Well, I guess this is a war monument!

So, I entered the sacred doors and discovered... stairs. 280 stairs. The elevator, which was somewhere else I couldn't even see (or I would have begged!), is apparently only for people with official handicap passes. Or maybe a wheelchair would have been convincing enough? I had a choice: climb or miss out. Ever the intrepid explorer, despite my disabilities and my growing hatred of stairs, I climbed. It hurt. Less than halfway up, I lambasted myself with every step for attempting it. But I didn't want to waste the stairs I'd already climbed, so I kept going. When would I ever be in Paris to do this again? Carpe diem! Carpe ibuprofen!

By the time I reached the top, the city lights twinkled merrily against the dusky night.

And here's the Eiffel Tower at night from the top of the Arc de Triomphe.

And the requisite selfie. I climbed all the way up there, you'd better believe I'd get that shot! Is that a smile or a friendly grimace? Maybe a little of both.

Joanna had texted that she'd meet me at the bottom so we could go get dinner, so I didn't stay too long.

I'd had my triumph over the Triomphe. It was all downhill downstairs from there. Yeah, this is the way I felt going down.

I met up with my beautiful daughter, and since we were still in that area of town, we decided to meander on over to the Eiffel Tower to see it lit up at night.

I am one bright woman! (No, that's not a dunce cap!) 

Dinner at last! Isn't she pretty?

Water for me!

Just right for a late night dinner: a sizzling pan of burgundy beef with bacon.

I think we ate every bit of the polenta, risotto, mashed potatoes, and bread. 

I topped it off with a dessert of yogurt with honey and cherry preserves. I love honey, but there is no way I could use the whole jar they brought out. I felt guilty wasting it, so I spooned it liberally into the yogurt. Sweeeeet! 
Not so bright. Oh my. Where is my Eiffel hat when I need it? I think there's a Bible verse about eating too much honey at once. Just a little dab'll do ya. 

That's the ending to another splendid day in Paris! 

Bonne nuit!

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