Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Arriving in Paris and Walking Around

We're back Paris for a few days, then continuing on to Bilbao and San Sebastian in the Basque Region of Spain.  When we arrive in Paris, there is still a little snow on the ground, melting rapidly.

Light snow cover in Paris

We drop our luggage at our hotel near the Arc de Triomphe and head down the Avenue des Champs-Élysées to find lunch, a baguette sandwich at Paul.  Refreshed, we continue down the Champs-Élysées to reacquaint ourselves with the city.


First meal in Paris

We pass by the Grand Palais and the Petit Palais exhibition halls on our way to Place de la Concorde and the entrance to the Tuileries, the grand gardens leading to the Louvre.  The views are spectacular, both back along the flag-draped Champs-Élysées to the Arc de Triomphe and the other way toward Place de la Concord with the gigantic Roue de Paris ferris wheel.

 Grand Palais and Petit Palais

 Looking up and down the Champs-Élysées

Crossing through Place de la Concorde, we see the newly restored and modernized Hotel de Crillon, a Paris landmark since the 18th century, with the French Assembly in the other direction across the Seine.  The restoration of the Crillon took two years and it's great to see the building again without all the scaffolding and barriers covering the work.

 Hotel de Crillon

 Assemblee Nationale in the background

Grand Palais and Eiffel Tower from Place de la Concorde

Entering the Tuilleries, we walk through the grand park toward the Louvre, the world's largest art museum.  The recent cold weather and snow have had a hard effect on the spring flowers.

 Walking toward the Louvre, flowers prefer warm sun

Exiting the courtyard of the Louvre onto Rue de Rivoli, we head up Avenue de l'Opera to the Opera and the grand department stores on Boulevard Haussmann.

 Louvre courtyard, L'arc de triomphe du Carrousel (Roue de Paris in the background)

Opera National de Paris

We want to check out the food court at Galeries Lafayette and pop into the home and food store across Boulevard Haussmann from the main store to look around.

 Galeries Lafayette food hall

We exit the food hall and admire the spring windows in the main store on the other side of Boulevard Haussmann as we head back toward the Champs-Élysées

 Spring windows at Galeries Lafayette

Back at the Arc de Triomphe, we see that veterans are gathering for a ceremony.  The Arc de Triomphe contains the Tomb of France's Unkown Soldier and the Eternal Flame, which is rekindled every morning by one of the France's Veterans Associations.

 Preparing for ceremony at the Arc de Triomphe

As the sun sets, we view it from our hotel room and wander out to see a few sites after dark.

 Sun setting across Paris

 Arc de Triomphe, Eiffel Tower after dark

 A good first day walk in Paris.  Now, to get serious and start thinking about dinner!

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