From Saint-Denis it was a short drive into Paris. There we enjoyed a drive along the Champs Élysées and a lunch stop near the Arc de Triomphe. After lunch we had time to walk to the Arch de Triomphe, but a long line gave us too little time to go to the observation platform on top. Instead we spent our time at the base taking pictures and admiring the arch. Who knew how large it is? We’re told it’s 49.5 m (162 ft) tall, 45 m (150 ft) wide and 22 m (72 ft) deep, and most of it is covered in artwork and inscriptions.
The triumphal arch known as the Arc de Triomphe was built between 1806 and 1836 to honour those who fought for France. Originally intended to honour the dead of the Napoleonic Wars, today it honours the dead in all of France’s modern wars with emphasis on the First and Second World Wars. There are inscriptions inside the arch and at the top which name French generals and the wars, and on the ground nearby is the tomb of the Unknown Soldier from the First World War. A Memorial flame burns there. Lit on November 11, 1923, it has burned continuously ever since.
After lunch we enjoyed a drive along some of Paris’s famous thoroughfares. These included drives by the courtyard of the Louvre, the Place de la Concorde, and views of the Conciergerie, and Napoleon’s Tomb at Invalides.
From there we were off to view the Eiffel Tower where we made a stop for pictures. By 4:00 p.m. it was time to head for our hotel, the Hyatt Regency. In the evening, Sonya and many in our group took in the glamour and excitement of a French cabaret at La Nouvelle Eve cabaret. I had a similar experience during the trip of 2013, and knew she’d really enjoy the show. Meanwhile I did a little exploring on my own in the evening, and had supper at a nearby cafe. Ah, Paris!