Paris On Our Own

Today it’s Paris on our own. The last day of the Canadian Battlefields Tour, the only official activity planned is a Farewell Celebration dinner at a Paris bistro this evening.  We have the whole day to explore Paris at our own pace.

According to the Concierge it’s only a 20 minute walk to the Eiffel Tower from our hotel. Sonya and I decide to start there. The walk takes us to the Arc de Triomphe, past shops and bistros yet to open. Look! There’s an electric car recharging at a street outlet. Across the street is a motorcycle dealer with at least 100 bikes parked out front. Funny, but the Eiffel Tower doesn’t seem much nearer, and we’ve already been walking for 20 minutes. Isn’t that a statue of George Washington on his horse in the middle of that traffic circle. We must be at Place d’Iéna.

Walking Collage

Walking to the Eiffel Tower may have taken a little longer than planned, but it was worth it!

Our 20 minute walk takes more than an hour. We’ve made it to the Eiffel Tower, but the crowds are already so thick that we decide not to wait for an elevator. Let’s walk up the tower instead. It’ll be a great way to explore the tower from every angle and enjoy a walk that is quite unlike anything else. Yikes! Who knew that it’s 704 steps to the second level? The only thing we know for sure is that it’s going to be a lot easier going down than it was coming up. Great day for it though. Clear and bright, what a great view of Paris when we finally reach the second floor!

It 704 steps to the second level of the Eiffel Tower, but the view is worth the effort.

It 704 steps to the second level of the Eiffel Tower, but the view is worth the effort.

By 2:00 p.m. we’re down the tower and on our way to Invalides. Lunching street-side at a bistro along the way is a pleasant experience. By 3:30 we’re at Invalides where we go first to the Museum of the French Army before visiting Napoleon’s Tomb. They’re both fascinating places, but there’s just too much to see and too little time. Since we have to be back at the hotel and ready for our evening excursion by 6:00 p.m., we decide to take the subway back. It’s an interesting experience too. All in all, it was a great day in Paris.

The French Army Museum and Napoleon's Tomb at Invalides. Too much to see, too little time.

The French Army Museum and Napoleon’s Tomb at Invalides. Too much to see, too little time.

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