I woke up in the morning with a really sore throat and I felt feverish. I asked my sister to slow down a bit for that day because I thought that my body wouldn’t be able to go for a really long walk in such a long time (and moreover I got a migraine caused by my wisdom tooth – yes, again!), so my sister decided to have a short visit to the laundrette and a nice breakfast somewhere around the hotel area.
Well Ci Ichay & Koh Nanug needed to wash their clothes anyway, so we went to the laundrette near the metro station that morning. We also stopped by at the post office to buy some stamps, and had a really nice French breakfast at a really nice cafe as we waited for the clothes. I had the best French onion soup I had ever had and Koh Nanug had a really nice omelette with mushroom.
After putting back our dry clothes at he hotel, we went to Arc de Triomphe, one of destinations with a 8pt chance of long queue (and thus we didn’t have to go there early in the morning). And from that moment on, the days of many (awful lot of) stairs were started.
Arc de Triomphe was basically a monument for the French soldiers died in various battles. But for visitors, not only that they could see the beauty of the monument from the outside, but also the beauty of the whole city of Paris from its top.
However, beauty is a pain and so was Paris. To go to the top of the 50-meter-high monument we had to climb *uhm* 284 stairs. For non-sporty people like us, we were already out of breath on the first quarter of the way. Luckily, a few steps away from the top, there was an exhibition room, souvenir shop, toilets, and some benches so we could have a short pause.
In the exhibition room, there were various installations that we could interact with. A screen was placed on the floor and people could see other visitors walking outside underneath the arc. Also there was a mini replica of Arc de Triomphe which we could navigate to see certain parts of the arc (along with the information) on the big screen.
Anyway, the 284 steps up was completely worth the effort. We saw a really nice 360 degrees view of Paris. The Eiffel tower, Sacré-Cœur up on a hill, Les Invalides, La Grande Arche de la Défense, and of course all the roads that stretched away in eight different directions from Arc de Triomphe.
After walking around on the roof of Arc de Triomphe, we finally walked down the stairs. Yes, another 284 steps. At least it was not against gravity. We then took a photo around the Arc de Triomphe, the eternal flame for the tomb of the unknown soldier, and crossed the big Avenue des Champs-Élysées.
The area around Champs-Élysées however, looked like a dark side of Paris. Beggars were everywhere and I bet pickpockets were too. Didn’t really match with the whole chic and show-off attitude of the touristy parts of Paris.
After having enough photo-taking time, we moved on to the next stop.
ps: I also had my photo taken with the same pose I did 13 years ago 😛
more photos are here