We landed in Paris around 9:40 local time. We were beat, but insisted on staying awake until bed time. We rented an apartment near the Arc de Triomphe and arrived with no troubles to a charming (but cold) little studio flat. We got situated, washed our faces and headed out to see our neighborhood. We ventured on to le Arc de Triomphe.
You can tell in the above picture just how huge the structure is. It honors those who fought for France, especially during the Napoleonic Wars.
It also holds the tomb of the unknown soldier from World War I.
After the Arc, we wandered down Champs-Élysées, slightly overwhelmed and jet lagged and forgot to take any pictures. We’ll be back there during our trip, so no worries :). We then wandered through some neighborhoods, on our way to the Eiffel Tower. We stood in line (in a 25mph sustained wind with 33° temperatures) for over an hour to go up the pillar with stairs only. We paid 4,50€ to climb the stairs to the 2nd floor (still a lot of stairs). It helped warm us up after nearly freezing to death in line.
The picture above is from the “2nd floor” looking down on the lawn beneath the tower.
This picture is of the river Seine from the 2nd floor as well.
We had to take an elevator to the top where the views were spectacular, but fa-reezing! We took some quick pictures (including a blurry self photo) and headed back indoors where we could see signs telling us at what we were looking.
Just as we got back down to the ground, the tower was lit – for the first five minutes or so after 6pm the tower sparkles, it is so beautiful! Obviously, that is hard to capture with a still camera. I’m hoping to get my flip video over there sometime this week to show you.
After the Eiffel tower, we made our way back through the neighborhoods, found a boulangerie and a small market for the makings of dinner back in our apartment. I lasted about 30 minutes before I crashed. I got about 12 hours of sleep – and was ready for Day 2…..coming tomorrow!