Sunday, June 17, 2012

My triumph at L'Arc de Triomphe

When people ask what my favorite part of my trip to Paris was, I tell them climbing to the top of L'Arc de Triomphe.  And it wasn't the actual climb, it was being on top of L'Arc and the magnificent view and the experience, itself.  My daughter was great on the trip to encourage me to do whatever I wanted to do.  As we approached L'Arc, I exclaimed "there are people on top!"  My daughter asked if I was going to to to the top and I said "oh, no."  There was (of course,) a line.  I think it was ten euros to purchase a ticket to climb.  After a bit, I decided I was going to to to the top and it was an excellent decision.  I climbed to the top tout seul.  (All alone).  It was, in my opinion, an outstanding evening, weather-wise.  It was drizzly and dark, lots of dark clouds.  I love weather like that.  It suited me very well.
Not an ounce of L'Arc is spared of detail and sculpture.  It is quite beautiful.  The four main sculptures are at the base, one to each side and very elaborate and nearly terrifying.  I walked about taking photos and at the top snapped photos looking up several of the twelve avenues that meet with L'Arc in the center. 

Le Depart de 1792- La Marseillaise

Look closely- you can see people on top.
Our taxi dropped us off at L'Arc on the right hand side of the street- across from L'Arc.  Initially, we thought "how do we get over there?"  We have a baby in a stroller.  The traffic is the usual Parisian crazy traffic, seemingly more so to me at this point because there is a big circle of traffic with no lanes and everyone driving willy-nilly.  Then we saw that you take the stairs through the tunnel beneath all of the crazy traffic.  I was greatly relieved we were not going to have to race head-long into the traffic with stroller and baby in tow.

La Paix de 1815

La Resistance de 1814
Le Triomphe de 1810

Facing Le Grande Arche de la Defense (La Grande Arche)

Perspective:  La Tour Eiffel from L'Arc

Montmartre from L'Arc
The "lift" was out of order- so I climbed up and climbed down.  284 steps each way.  Might I add that I did not take a break (as did several younger than I).  Again, thankful I had dropped fifteen pounds prior to the trip and had upped my physical activity.
Looking down from the top of the spiral staircase
 (my pink kicks).
 One last look back from Avenue des Champs-Elysee.


farmlady said...

Oh, I would love to see Paris. I'm so glad that you climbed L'Arc. Good for you. How beautiful the view, especially as it was getting dark.
Wonderful photos. Interesting post.

Kris said...

I would have gone to the top too! What stunning pictures!!!!!

Holly said...

So worth the climb. Gorgeous!

Karen said...

Amazing photos!!... love what you captured, thanks for bringing us along. I don't know if I'll ever get there, so nice to see it atleast through your eyes -


BREATHTAKING. Worth every step.

Chatty Crone said...

Oh what memories that brings back - you are so lucky! sandie

Heidrun Khokhar said...

You captured a place I love as have so many!!

Chicken Wrangler said...

Awesome photos! I like the pictures of the skylines - and the STAIRS - whew!

Karen Whittal said...

They just don't build as beautiful anymore. I love old buildings full of character sounds like you had a great time.

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