It was the first working weekday since we arrived, and something that was readily evident from the moment we stepped out onto the street that morning. The traffic was heavier and the stores were all finally open. It's hard being a tourist if everyone else is doing the same so it was with a bit of relief that we finally saw Napoleon's Arc de Triomphe absent the scandalous mass of humanity from the last couple of days. A quick subway ride from Miromesnil and we were there in no time enjoying a sunny morning along with the few tourists milling about.
In all my trips, same as with the Eiffel tower, I'd never made it to the top of the Arc. I wouldn't have minded doing it but just never had the inclination. That and the crowded lines always put me off. This time around, with my companions eager to scale all heights in the city, we had to absolutely do it. In this case, sadly, the French seemed to take our desire literally.
I was amazed to find out that the only way for regular folk to get to the top is by taking it one step at a time; all fifty meters high of nothing but seemingly endless winding staircase. Thankfully, vertigo and lack of exercise aside, we all made it, albeit a little out of breath. Arch of Triumph is right - it certainly was a triumphant achievement.
Always nice to check things off the list.
Naturally, all that exertion put us in the mood for a good Parisian breakfast, and what should be nearby but our new buddy, Paul. Nothing beats exploring a world renowned monument capped by a hearty breakfast along one of the most beautiful avenues in the world. Some mornings surely are better than others - this one definitely ranks high up there...fifty meters high.
Labels: France, Travel