Our second day in Paris, we went to the basement for our complimentary breakfast. It was cosy and cramped, but exciting to eat croissants and baguettes in a stone basement. Ham and cheese was the filling of choice, and with breakfast behind us, we headed out into the cold day. The metro was starting to make sense to us and we found ourselves on the most beautiful bridge:
From which we could see a most astounding structure:
Full expecting it was not going to meet expectations because how hyped up it has been in the past, there was no disappointment here. It is as majestic and stately as any description you have heard before:
We found our way to the Arc de Triomphe and it does live up to its name! However, the roundabout is super chaotic, it’s any wonder we didn’t see a number of accidents while we were there! Mind you, it can’t help that we (and dozens of other tourists) were just milling about the median strip. It makes for good photos though:
For a while we thought we were going to have to leg it across the hair-raising intersection to make it under the Arc itself, and then we noticed the underground stairs, so we made it safely across without crossing moving traffic.
It was now time for a stroll down Champs Elysees, which I’m not certain, but I think roughly translates to “Avenue of Car Showrooms”. Peugeot, Mercedes, Toyota, Citroen, Renault all had Christmas spaces with a few cars and plenty of branded knick-knacks for sale.
Partway through our stroll, I noticed a ‘creperie’ down a side street and we decided it was time for lunch. I had a truly French crepe and it was thoroughly enjoyable. We carried on towards the Christmas markets which were a welcome diversion and we followed the sights and sounds, and the distracting shops all the way to end the street. We hopped on the nearest metro and made our way to Notre Dame.
It is a beautiful building form the outside (the line was too long to go in). We stood and marvelled at the many carvings, both Ben and I wishing we knew more about the symbolism represented in the carvings and doing our best to describe what we knew.
As we meandered further and the evening turned to night time, we realised that Paris favours those who can spend money. The shopping looked luxurious, the bars and restaurants lively (but expensive) and the hotels nearer the city centre looked inviting. So the verdict is, Paris is a nice city, that smells like wee, and is most fun when you travel on more than a student budget.