Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Arc de Triomphe & Seine River Cruise - Paris

Thursday afternoon, the rain had stopped after nap, so we decided to see how much we could get done before it started again.  We got really lucky and it held out all night, so we accomplished more sightseeing than we initially thought we would that day.

Our Paris Passes included two days on the Hop-on Hop-off bus tour, so we hopped on the bus at Notre Dame and decided to ride it all the way to the Arc de Triomphe instead of taking the train.  This allowed Brady to be more free and for us to see things on the streets of Paris that we were missing when we'd take the underground metro system.

Checking out the sights along the road.

We had grabbed a map for the bus route and were following along so we'd know when we were getting close.  We made the turn onto the Champs-Elysees and were immediately presented with a great shot down the road to the Arc de Triomphe.  It was really cool to see straight down the road with the trees trimmed to frame the road.

The Arc de Triomphe honors those who fought and died for France during the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars, with the names of all French victories and generals inscribed on its inner and outer surfaces.  Beneath its vault lies the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier from WWI.  There was an eternal flame there and they were even doing some sort of ceremony while we were there.

Andy had been unimpressed with the size of the Eiffel Tower, but the Arc de Triomphe did not disappoint.  It was truly massive and sat right in the middle of a huge traffic circle.

The giant French flag swaying the wind.

Once we took the elevator up to the top, there was a nice scale model.

The view from the top.

Brady hanging at the outlook point.

 We walked a good way back on the Champs-Elysees and encounter a Disney Store so we had to go in.  My dad thinks we drank the Disney Kool-Aid at this point ;) 

 From the Disney Store, Brady got a Paris Mickey Mouse t-shirt, the stuffed Ellevan from Jungle Junction (pictured above), and a Cars toy cell phone.

We grabbed the most amazing pizza we've had the whole time in Europe right across the street from the Disney Store.  It still wasn't raining, so we decided to head back towards the Eiffel Tower to get on the Seine River cruise. 

Brady hanging on the boat.

The Orsay Museum, which is in a old railway station.

The Alexander III Bridge.

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