samedi 4 avril 2015

Aux Champs-Élysées

One of my favorite things to do in Paris is ride the metro. It is super efficient and really convenient as you are never more than 5 minutes away from a stop. It will get you everywhere you need to be in a timely manner and it has some of the coolest stations I have ever seen. The metro itself is a treasure trove for those of us that enjoy people watching. My absolute favorite station is the Arts et Métiers stop. It looks like a submarine straight out of a Jules Verne novel! Y'all know I'm a Sci-Fi geek, so I am totally on board with this decor. I love the advertisements, too. How am I supposed to know what is happening in the City of Love?

I know y'all think I'm kidding, but I'm as serious as a heart attack. Titanic is one of my favorite movies of all time. Besides the fact that the costumes were flawless, the set design was out of this world, and the acting was top notch, the story of the Titanic in and of itself fascinates me to no end. I bought the Director's cut DVD as soon as it came out and all. Don't play with me. Now imagine seeing it in Paris... with a live orchestra...ON MY BIRTHDAY WEEKEND! Ugh. Let me stop before I cry. Paris has it all. 

One of my other favorite ads was for the app that provides real-time metro info. This is very useful for you Cinderizzys that leave your glass slippers everywhere.  

Anyway, I figured that today was as good as any to go for a walk. Although I love the Paris metro, Paris is a very walkable city and walking is my preferred method of getting around. This walk begins at the very top of the Champs-Élysées, at the Arc de Triomphe de l'Étoile.  The Arc is actually my favorite structure in Paris. The detail is absolutely incredible and it is just so impressive in stature. If you google an aerial shot, you will see that tons of streets radiate from here. It is so cool! Anyway, when I first came to Paris this was the structure that truly WOWed me. Whenever I am in town, I always make sure to pop by and see it because I can't get over how much I love it. 

The walk continues down the Champs-Élysées. This is one of the most popular streets for shopping in Paris. It is a wide, stately boulevard dotted with restaurants, showrooms, and everything in between. Unfortunately for me, Ladurée, Longchamp, and Louis Vuitton are all here so my wallet was screaming. I also popped into the PSG store to pick up a few things. Y'all mean to tell me there are PSG Beats, too?! You may recall that they were also featured in Chez McDo's Happy Meal. What will they think of next? The Champs is definitely "touristy", but I really enjoy this walk. You get to eat/shop as you stroll down this street surrounded by beautiful architecture, and you also get to people watch to your hearts content. What's not to love?

Since I was here for the holidays, I got to see the Champs all lit up and decorated. There are lots of little wooden chalets in the Christmas Markets selling hot wine and traditional holiday sweets. They even have a skating rink! It was so cute to hear carols being played, too. Man, I'm so corny. Whatever. Bonne Noël!

As our walk continues, we find ourselves at Place de la Concorde, located at the very end of the Champs. This is one of two fountains in the plaza. Isn't it a sight to see? If you have no life like me, you will recognize it as the place where Anne Hathaway tossed her phone in The Devil Wears Prada. Also in this square is the Luxor Obelisk, literally one (of two) from the Luxor Temple in Egypt. It's over 3000 years old, weighs infinity tons, and is covered in hieroglyphics. Hemingway was not kidding when he called Paris an aesthetic feast. There is something gorgeous everywhere you look! 

Hey, girl!

At the end of the Champs-Élysées was a very special holiday bonus waiting for your girl-- the Roue de Paris! I first laid eyes on this ferris wheel during season one of The Amazing Race and knew I wanted to see it in personI finally got to see it with my own eyes and I was so happy. You know I didn't get on it, though. I'm not that insane!

We find ourselves at the Jardin des Tuileries. This park has been around for like 400 years and was originally part of the Palais des Tuileries. I hope you have been paying attention, cause you'd know what the word palais means. During the warmer seasons, it is usually packed with people of all ages hanging out. Since this was the dead of winter, there was nary a soul to be seen. If you are wondering why the skies are so grey, it is because it was cold as fuck. I wasn't about to risk frostbite for pictures of some bare trees. Continue walking through the garden until you reach the Arc de triomphe du Carrousel. This arch was built to commemorate Napoleon's victories (as was The Arc de Triomphe), but it is smaller in scale. It is still a nice structure, though. 

Our walk is not over! In fact, we are only half way. We will take a quick break here at the Pavillon Sully. What is this, you ask? Only part of one of the world's most famous museums...

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