I thought I would die laughing Monday afternoon. Seriously. Not kidding. Our Uber driver dropped us off right in front of the stairs down to the underground crosswalk leading to the Arch de Triumph. We saw that we would need to go down that long flight of stairs and join the masses going under the Place Charles de Gaulle in the tunnel and then come back up to the triumphal arch on the other side. Rick, who always does things “the way you are supposed to,” grabbed my hand and said, “Let’s run across!” As we made our way, dodging traffic entering and exiting via the twelve (yes, twelve!) radiating avenues, I suddenly found it hilarious that we were doing such an out of character thing. I certainly would never drive around the arch, so why in the world were we running through there? Laughing at the craziness of the situation while trying to avoid a close encounter with many very heavy vehicles might have been inappropriate, but there we were. Luckily, we didn’t die getting flattened and laughing and we made it across to the other side. Otherwise, you would be reading our obits right now.
Don’t know why seeing the Arc de Triumph up close suddenly popped up on our radar, but nothing would do until I found a guide to show us around. Paris Walks arranged a tour with a guy named Brad, and as we expected, it was the same Brad we met here in December. Brad is an expat from LA and he took us on a French Revolution tour in December. We were glad to see him; he’s a great guide.
We climbed the zillion steps up to the top of the arch and emerged into the sun at what is about ten or eleven stories up. This arch was the tallest in the world when it was built. Construction began in 1806 but was not completed until 1836. The climb was not fun, but the view is priceless. I am not going to yak on and on about the arch, but am just going to show some fabulous photos from around the terrace.