Sunday, May 22, 2011

Springtime in Paris- Day 3 (Part 2)...

The metro we took spit us out at the entrance to the underground bridge that takes you to the area in the middle of the insanely busy traffic circle where the Arc de Triomphe lives.
Fun overexposed shot of the Arc.
We got a shot tour bus free!
Justin knew he wanted to head to the top of it and the entrance was on our museum pass so this was a no brainer. Plus I was promised an elevator ride.  Wikipedia says a lift will take you to the attic and then from there you only have to conquer 46 steps to get to the top. See here. Well, we weren't given a choice.  We were funneled into a spiral staircase (at this time we're totally familiar with the never-ending feeling of these things from climbing them at night to get to our studio apartment) and started climbing.  I said something to the effect of "I hate you for tricking me Justin" and his reply/motto for the trip was "The greater the effort/risk, the greater the reward." And I shot him venomous looks. They did nothing to deter him. But he did apologize for for not realizing that the elevator option never really was going to be presented.  Whatever, I needed the workout after all those Monacos.
Yes, it's a long way up and down.
That's just the head of one of those sculptures on the outside of the Arc.
The Arc is dedicated to the armies of France.
Once at the top we were like little kids exclaiming over the awesome view and how spectacular it was to be able to see so many things from one place. Of course we took pictures!
Justin's panoramic picture from his iPhone. Imagine the streets as a semi-circle.
The Eiffel Tower from the Arc.
It was breezy up there.
Sacré-Cœur Basilica.


The gold dome is Les Invalides.
I thought all the trees lining this street were pretty.

The underside of the Arc de Triomphe. There are four flowers in the pattern of squares. I sat for a little bit.
Another shot of the underside.

The scale of things is incredible.
Justin found the lens cap we're always misplacing.
After enjoying the view and the breezy wind we decided that the group of tour kids that had just joined the crowd at the top were going to make things a little unbearable and it was time for a snack.  So we decided we'd commit to a short jaunt down the Avenue des Champs-Élysées.  We went to a Pharmacy on the Avenue where I decided now was the time that I absolutely had to buy more bandages. So we bought some of the most expensive bandages I've ever bought in my life/the cheapest bandages in the store. 

This same store also had a macaroon stand.  So we decided to indulge in some.
The green one is mint and the brown one is chocolate. The colors of these things are so vibrant!
We wandered down a little bit and stopped to eat in the outside section of a place that was tented in blue.  And that is why I chose it. The blue.  It's my fave color and apparently I will go so far as to decide where I'm spending my money based on it.  Justin and I split a pizza and enjoyed being able to just sit for a little bit.
Where we ate under the blue tent on the Champs-Élysées.
Justin's beer and my coffee.
The menu. Cause I can't help myself.
Justin writing away.
We walked along a little bit more and stopped at a Toyota concept car showroom.  We marveled over the fact they spent all that money for a place on that road and who really walks out of there owning a new car.  But the advertising account executive in me acknowledges that it's all branding and every Joe Schmo, including me, walks out that much more impressed because obviously Toyota thinks the showcase spot is worth while and hey we stopped in even though we aren't in the market for a new car.
Vroom! Vroom!
You can almost see it smiling at you.
Next stop for us was Centre Georges Pompidou, basically the acting modern art museum in the city.  It was open late on Sunday, and we wanted to see it anyway, so a perfect storm of timing for us really.
Justin taking the following picture.
That tube is the escalator that goes all the up to the top.
We took the escalator to the top, the sixth floor, and enjoyed another awesome view of the city.
View from the top. I don't know what's in the distance. Bonus points if you can tell me. Justin identified Notre Dame with the Pantheon in the background. Winner!
We got two awesome views of the Eiffel Tower that day.
Then we walked around to see the art.  We tried really hard to appreciate a lot of stuff that we didn't understand.  But there was one piece by Dali that was particularly disturbing (about his bad childhood and poor relationship with his father and on and on) and we decided we'd seen enough and it was time to have some drinks. We found a little spot that had Monacos on the menu and took in our surroundings.
I'm writing as I enjoy my Monaco and Justin's enjoying his beer.
Of course once we were ready to go it was almost impossible to get the guy to give us our check because he was chilling outside with his friends.  Eventually we settled up though and went looking for a place to eat that we had definitely marked on our map.  The place definitely was not where we'd marked it and it was getting late and places were closing up shop, so we figured we'd try our hand at looking for a place near the apartment.

Dinner that night was at a place around the corner from us and a little lackluster for me, but it was food and I didn't go to sleep hungry.

All in all not bad for the third day in a new city.

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