Paris 2016: City walk
Date: Saturday 6th August 2016
Company: Myself and Becky
Following three days at Disneyland Paris, Becky and I spent yesterday walking around Paris taking in some of the sights. This is my sixth visit to this wonderful city and Becky's second visit.
Meeting Mickey Mouse at Disneyland Paris:
From our base in Place d'Italie, we took the Line 6 Metro to La Motte Picquet Grenelle and then the Line 10 Metro to Javel. This would allow us to start our sightseeing at the Statue de la Liberté, a one-quarter scale replica of the New York Statue of Liberty. To get the best views of the statue, we wandered down to Port Grenelle. The statue is located on a man-made island on the Seine called Île aux Cygnes.
Statue de la Liberté, Île aux Cygnes:
From the Statue de la Liberté, we made our way alongside the bank of the Seine towards the Tour Eiffel.
We had hoped to ascend the tower, as I have in several previous visits to Paris, however the queues were the longest I have ever seen them. There is currently a security zone around the tower and once past security you have to join the queues. I believe the tower was evacuated the day previous due to abandoned luggage in the area, this together with the fact it was Saturday perhaps accounted for the length of queues. I could see no-one ascending the stairs to Levels 1 and 2, so perhaps the only current permitted means of ascent are the elevators.
Becky at the base of the Tour Eiffel:
After abandoning an ascent of the tower, we made our way across Pont D'Iena towards Trocadéro.
Tour Eiffel from Trocadéro:
It was a touch disappointing to find the wonderful fountains at Trocadéro non-operational. Fountains in the Jardin de Champs-Élysées and one of the large fountains in the Jardin des Tuileries were also non-operational. Come-on Paris, fix your fountains please.
At Trocadéro, the statue of Hercules is impressive. The buildings now house a number of museums.
Statue Hercule domptant un bison, Trocadéro:
From Trocadéro, we next made our way to Avenue Kléber which we followed all the way to the Arc de Triomphe.
Arc de Triomphe de l'Étoile:
One of four sculptural groups on the Arc de Triomphe, La Paix de 1815:
While I had visited the Arc de Triomphe five times previously, I had not previously been to the top of it. I therefore purchased a ticket for myself (12 Euros) to ascend to the top of the Arc. Entry for children is free.
Once past security, we climbed the spiral staircase inside the arch leading to a level area inside a short distance below the top.
Inside the Arc de Triomphe:
We then walked up another couple of short staircases to reach the top of the arch from where the views are fantastic. A number of photos from the top of the arch follow.
View towards Montmartre from atop the Arc de Triomphe:
Sacré-Cœur, Montmartre (zoom):
Champs-Élysées from atop the Arc de Triomphe:
Tour Eiffel from atop the Arc de Triomphe:
View towards La Défense and la Grande Arche from atop the Arc de Triomphe:
Becky atop the Arc de Triomphe:
After making our way back down to the base of the arch, and having a look at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, we made our way down the steps to pass underneath the large roundabout to come back out at the Champs-Élysées.
Looking back to the Arc de Triomphe from the Champs-Élysées:
We soon passed four ferraris parked next to each other. I then noticed a sign offering them for hire at a rate of 80 Euros per 20 minutes.
Ferraris for hire on the Champs-Élysées:
On walking along the Champs-Élysées, we had to skirt around countless Romanian beggers who have taken to lying face-down, flat-out on the Champs-Élysées pavement with cups in hand. EU free movement at its best!
On reaching Claridges, I took Becky inside to see the water clock, which unfortunately is not currently operational.
Water clock in Claridges:
On reaching the Jardin du Champs-Élysées, we stopped at one of the stalls for a crêpe. Becky had one with sugar and I had one with chocolate and banana. Yum! Next, we continued along to the Place de la Concorde.
Twenty years previous, in 1996, I saw its twin at the entrance of Luxor temple in Egypt. This obelisk was gifted to Paris in 1829.
Obélisque de Louxor and the Roue de Paris:
The fountains at the Place de la Concorde are nice.
Becky at one of the two fontaines de la Concorde:
The night previous, we went on the Roue de Paris. I went on this wheel on visiting Paris back in 2000. It has since toured a number of cities around the world including Birmingham and Manchester. It is currently back in Paris.
Roue de Paris and the Obélisque de Louxor from the Jardin des Tuileries:
Jardin des Tuileries from aboard the Roue de Paris (taken the day previous):
We stopped for a seat beside one of the fountains in the Jardin des Tuileries before progressing along to the Palais Royal which now houses the Musée du Louvre.
At one of the fountains in the Jardin des Tuileries:
Walking through the Jardin des Tuileries towards the Palais Royal (Musée du Louvre):
Myself in the Jardin des Tuileries:
Becky in the Jardin des Tuileries:
Panorama of the Palais Royal (Musée du Louvre):
Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel:
We visited the Pyramide du Louvre two nights previous en-route to Notre-Dame and the Latin Quarter and will hopefully be visiting it again to gain access to the Musée du Louvre before the end of this trip. I have visited the museum five times previously. It is outstanding.
Becky at the Pyramide du Louvre:
Pyramide du Louvre:
Palais Royal (Musée du Louvre):
Myself at Pyramide du Louvre:
Becky at at Pyramide du Louvre:
From the Palais Royal, we caught the Metro back to Place d'Italie for a couple of hours back at the hotel before heading out again for a second walk.
For our second walk of the day, we caught the Line 7 Metro to Poissonniers and walked from there uphill towards Sacré-Cœur. We could have caught a second Metro taking us closer to Sacré-Cœur, we were however happy to extend the walk.
On reaching Sacré-Cœur, we made our way up the steps towards the church. While I had visited Sacré-Cœur several times previously, I had not previously had a look inside. This time we would venture in for a look.
Becky on the steps of Sacré-Cœur:
After our look inside Sacré-Cœur, we sat outside on the grass for around fifteen minutes before making our way back down to the main street and along Pigalle towards the Moulin Rouge.
Sitting on the grass below Sacré-Cœur:
Sitting on the grass below Sacré-Cœur:
While I was happy to take Becky along Pigalle during the day, I am not sure I would take her there at night. This is the red-light area of Paris.
From the Moulin Rouge we took a number of random roads heading back downhill passing the Église de la Sainte-Trinité, Printemps and numerous other sights.
Église de la Sainte-Trinité:
On reaching the Saint-Augustin Metro station, Becky had had enough walking for the day. We had walked somewhere in the region of 12 miles on what was a fairly hot day. We caught the Line 9 Metro to Nation and then Line 6 from Nation back to Place d'Italie.
This was an enjoyable wander around some of the main sites of Paris. Trip to Versailles today.