Day 5 – 29th of October:
By now we had a good system for getting up. Every day we met outside the Hostel at 0900 (Zulu time). My head felt better this day than the day before, but was filled with snot. Our plan today wasto walk “The axis of France” – the distance Louvre – Place de la Concorde – Arc de Triomphe. I looked forward to the sights, but understood it was going to be hard.
We did the normal shopping round of baguettes, today I bought vitamin juice and candy to make my day easier. We ate breakfast in front of Le Louvre (the world’s most visited art museum), it was cold – really freezing! Luckily the sun raised and shined when we had eaten, which helped a bit on the cold part.
There is always a line to Le Louvre.
A cold, cold, cold breakfast
Place de la Concorde was the host of a huge happening about 215 years ago when Louis XVI was sentenced to death and then guillotined at Place de la Révolution (as it was called then) on the 21st of January 1793. His wife Marie Antionette followed the 16th of October the same year. The Place is surrounded by huge historical buildings, but we mostly looked at the gigantic Egyptian obelisk in the middle. The obelisk was given to France from Egypt in the 19th century.
Place de la Concorde. Champs Elyssées to the right
Champs Elyssées seen from Place de la Concorde
The famous Champs Elyssées starts at Place de la Concorde and ends at Arc de Triomphe. We walked the 1-2 kilometers to the Arc and visited a large Adidas shop on the way. Juha wanted to get new shoes, but we left without finding anything, a bit expensive maybe? We were all amazed about the Arc de la triomphe, it’s really astonishing! The view from the top of the Arc is best night time so we returned later the same day to go up. Marvelous!
Paris is devided into to parts (ish) the old and the new Paris. The new paris is centered around La défence, the business area of Paris. We took the metro there (it’s a bit far to walk) and had a brilliant lunch in the steps in front of La Grande Arche (a modern arc of triumph).
Lunch in the stairs of La grande arche
Since it was still freezing (the sun was on/off and didn’t really help) so we had a coffee at McDonalds to get warm. We also found a huge mall, Quatre temps, so we went in to shop (the true reason was to get warm). Juha now wanted gloves – his Finnish hands were finally cold!
We strolled back on the Esplanade de la défence and took some photos before we met Fie (our 7th traveler) who had been dropped off at the Arc de Triomphe by her parents.
Front to back: Cate, Juha, Tom, Geir, Nina and me.
Notice Arc de triomphe on the left and Tour Eiffel on the right
We met Victor, Kristofer, Henrique, Kristian and Annika (other Erasmus students) who arrived in Paris the same day. This party of 12 and three additional norwegians (Norginsa students from INSA Toulouse) ate dinner together at Pizza Hut near Centre Pompidou before we went to the top of Arc de la Triomphe (as I told you about earlier).
When we got home I got straight to bed.
The Eiffel tower seen from the top of Arc de Triomphe