What a great place for a wedding -- if you liked lots of people watching you!
Then it was around to various sites including Rue Victor Hugo and Victor Hugo Place, continuing our theme! You can see Arc de Triomphe in the background!
Eventually he dropped us off at the end of the Champs Elysee and we enjoyed a "walk down the avenue." The sky was almost an unbearable, beautiful blue!
The stores are lovely. It was a Sunday and most were closed (probably a good thing, given the sticker shock!)
But we did enjoy looking at the new Toyota Prius...
... and this tiny thing!
Then we continued on to Arc de Triomphe. It's pretty impressive with an amazing history. The first ston ewas laid by Napoleon in 1805 after the 1805 Battle of Austerlitz, but because of the demise of Napoleon's power, it wasn't completed until 1836.
It stand 164 feet -- and is incredibly imposing. The site of key events, Victor Hugo's body lied in state under the Arc in 1885. In 1919, Allie armies paraded through the arc after WWI.
The Arc de Triomphe is located in Place Charles de Gaulle, named for the World War II general, who, during the Liberation of Paris in WWII led the crowd from the Arc.
A dozen avenues converge at the arc in the center. One of these is Avenue Victor Hugo. If you remember from earlier posts, he is one of Rick's heroes. So of course, we took lots of photos!
All that walking makes a girl tired, so we settled in at a cafe in Place Victor Hugo for a fabulous chocolat chaud for me and espresso for Rick.
I had heard the hot chocolate in France was unlike anywhere else. I can't speak for the world, but let me say, it is no Swiss Miss. It's nearly as thick as chocolate sauce and twice as decadent!
Then it was back to watch the crazy traffic parade at the Arc. I'm amazed there aren't numerous crashes there daily. This cyclist seemed to know what he was doing, but I wouldn't have done it.
After more looking, and with a driving rain that popped up, of course, we decided to get dry and check out the McDonald's to see how it was different. The McCafe was to die for. I only got this one photo before they told me 'no photos.'
However, upstairs, we did get a bit of a view of the street. It was raining at this time (of course; blue sky one minute, rain the next!) so there aren't so many people out!
We made a quick stop at the Swarovski crystal store and did a good deal of window shopping.
Then we moved on to the famous Haussmann Blvd. and over to the Opera House. I'll talk about that in more detail later. From there, we moved south, toward Place Vendome, notable for its towering monument.
My friend Judy wanted a photo of Coco Chanel's original atelier.
I was pleased we found it!
The Ritz is located there as well, and one couldn't help but recall Diana's flight from the hotel, leading to her death.
From the front it's not terribly imposing.
We ended up taking the Metro to an area called St. Paul in the Marais and dined at a charming restaurant -- and I've gotta say, it felt darned good to sit down!
They showed Laurel & Hardy silents on the wall and much of the decor was old movie posters -- I felt right at home! My boeuf burgongoine wasn't quite as good as Julia's but tasty and Rick's pork chop was to die for!
A long walk home and we were ready to crash, once again!
I've said this before: Basic operating equipment -- good shoes and an umbrella.
A good map helps, too. I'm hoping to get my favorite Paris guide and map books on Chopsticks and String within the next few days. I'll let you know when it's posted!