First stop in Paris
10.01.2010 - 20.01.2010
We were so jet lagged the moment we arrived in Paris and took a nap straight away. When we woke up, we were groggy and noticed that it was considerably late. Oops - - We walked out of our hotel and decided to walk to the Arc de Triomphe. Officially it is actually called the Arc de Triomphe de l'Étoile. It is there to honor those who fought for France mostly during the Napoleonic Wars.
This is located right in the Place Charles de Gaulle or also known as Place de l'Étoile. It is a magnificent site at night with all the lights shining up and displaying the amazing detail on the monument.
We decided to walk up all 284 steps to reach the top of the Arc. It's kind of funny looking back how we didn't think the steps were too bad. That is until we hit the half way point and wondered how much longer it would take. About 2/3 of the way up there was a little section inside for a gift shop and statues, names of French generals of the first French Empire.
At the very top you have a very clear view of Champs-Élysées. The blue lights are very distinctive and it is the heart of fashion in Paris. At the very end of the street you can see the Ferris wheel!
You can also see the beautiful La Tour Eiffel in the distance. At night time you can see it very clearly. Though trying to take pictures with a point and shoot at night time isn't easy at all.
When we came back downstairs we noticed bagpipes and soldiers but we couldn't see since it was blocked off. It was for the Tomb of the Unknown Solider which is below the Arc. The grave has an eternal flame which burns in memory of the soldiers that were killed and never identified in both World Wars. The French model came to inspire the Unknown Warrior in Westminster Abbey. John F Kennedy and Jacqueline Kennedy visited the Arc and Tomb in a visit to Paris. After JFK was assassinated she requested an eternal flame to be at JFK's grave which was also inspired by their visit to the Arc.
To finish off this post about the Arc de Triomphe: some pictures I took outside.