Today we’re talking Paris. Yes again! I can’t help it, this long weekend to France has been my only holiday this year since my week in Deal, Kent in April. Seven days of holiday does not a happy Laura make! On our first day in Paris we started by visiting the Arc de Triomphe. The arch is in the middle of a giant roundabout and is accessed by going beneath the road rather than across it. Seriously don’t even try to cross the road, the number of cars is crazy!
Napoleon commissioned the building of the Arc to honour all those who fought for France, and in particular the Napoleonic Wars, although he died before it was completed in 1836.
View towards the Eiffel Tower
We arrived early and headed straight up the monument. There are something like 234 steps up to the viewing platform at the top of the arch – I counted each one, twice! The viewing platform gives a 360 degrees view of Paris and it’s sights, including the Eiffel Tower, Sacre Coeur, La Defense and the Champs-Elysees.
Each of the pillars are carved with the names of the French generals and the wars they fought in. It’s a pretty impressive structure with something new to look at as you ascend the numerous steps, there’s even a little museum near the top, next to the usual tourist shop.
But really the main reason to visit the Arc de Triomphe is for the stunning views from the platform. We visited on quite a windy but sunny day and spent at least 30 minutes looking at Paris from every possible angle from the viewing platform. I’ve still not gone up the Eiffel Tower but I don’t feel the need to, not after this.
Once we’d finished exploring the stunning structure we walked straight down Avenue Kleber to the Jardins de Trocadero before crossing the Seine to wander around the Eiffel Tower. It’s a great walk and definitely lets you eat all of the croissants!