I had only two planned metro rides that day. One going to the Louvre, and the other going back from the Eiffel Tower. I walked going to everywhere else. You can plan your day out so that you visit the sites that can reached by foot from another tourist spot.
It was already past lunch time when I exited the Louvre. I think there is a cafe inside the museum but I wanted to eat in the cold outdoors. Weird, but the atmosphere outside the Louvre is just...inviting me to stay in the area a bit longer.
A smaller version of Arc de Triomphe just across the Louvre.
|I have gloomy cloudy skies in Paris. No crystal clear blue sky.|
I crossed the arc and found a sandwich stand. For €8, I had a sandwich and coffee. I sat in a bench and watched people go by.
A few steps later, I found myself in the Tuileries Gardens - public park in Paris.The Tuileries Gardens gave me a tangible taste of autumn. Fallen leaves everywhere. The colors are awesome.
Perhaps you shouldn’t sweep those leaves at home. Good thing the park have these chairs all over the place. I placed my camera on one and took a bunch of pictures. Plenty of people around but nobody seemed to hang out amidst all the leaves.
The camwhoring came to a stop when the rain started to fall. Gah. And I did not have an umbrella because I shipped it back home, thinking I wouldn’t need it.
|Don't sweep those leaves.|
A healthy amount of rain poured. I stopped under some umbrella of a restaurant in the area.
A couple of blocks later, I found myself in the famous Champs Elysses. This famous street in Paris is filled with posh shops and posh restaurants. Of course, there’s still a McDonald’s in that street. If you want to take your fill of people-watching in Paris, this would be a good place. You can sip a (pricey) coffee outside the restaurant and watch the Parisian (and tourists) go by. That was part of my plan. But the rain dampened the mood of doing so. The streets were wet and I wasn’t really up to people-watching on a wet street.
When it rained again, I was right in front of H&M. The shop beckoned me. A perfect way to pass time while it was still raining outside.
|Rain rain go away.|
Like when I shopped in Germany, I wasn’t bothered by the salesladies here. I wasn’t followed relentlessly and cajoled into trying stuff that wasn’t really my taste. I grabbed half a dozen dresses and lined up at the fitting room. Nobody stopped me from trying them out. I bought a couple of dresses so that I won't have to do laundry later that night. Bwahahahaha! I was still within budget anyway.
Peeing for €2 is not in the budget. But my bladder was already on revolt and I had to head at the nearest toilet. I got in this posh place.
I was actually very tempted to buy one of those colorful tissue rolls.
|A wonderful accent to your bathroom.|
In fairness naman, pang €2 talaga ang facilities. So I took my time washing my hands and combing my hair.
Arc de Triomphe
At the end (or center) of the street is Arc de Triomphe. You have to use this underpass to reach the arc. This is also covered by the Paris Museum Pass (Yay!).
The arc has the names of all those distinguished French heroes.
Unfortunately, it seemed like it was my unlucky day because the elevator was not working. HUWAAAAAAATTTT!!!! So I had to climb my way up there. I didn’t have any choice.
|Another long and winding staircase|
At the top is a small museum which features the history of the arc. Interestingly, they also feature other arcs in the world. Apparently, there's a LOT. I stayed and looked at the exhibits for a while. It was still drizzling a bit outside.
A few more steps and you are at the top. The view offers a wonderful 360-degree look of Paris. I wanted to take as many pictures as possible. My dad has been here and he has a whole lot of pictures (note that if was still film back in those days, so a couple is a lot.)
Notice that there are not a lot of tall buildings? A building's height regulated. You'll have to get a permit if you want to build a taller building in this city.
|Even though the skies are gloomy, I find the Paris neighborhood utterly charming.|
The nice strangers are always there to take my picture.
|With my night destination at the background: the Eiffel Tower.|
It is quite difficult to get a full shot of the arc when you are actually there.
|Trying to find an angle. Angle not found.|
A few tourists (like me) were willing to stand in the middle of the road to get a picture with the arc. There were three of us snapping pics of each other. Crazy but fun.
It was late in the afternoon when I headed out to my night destination. Eiffel Tower, I'm out to get ya!