I made my way towards the Louvre Palace. I did not have enough time go inside the museum, but the grounds and courtyards of the vast complex are worth wandering. The complex occupies about 100 acres and encloses two large courtyards.
The Cour Carrée or “Square Courtyard” was completed under Napoleon. I spotted the Louvre Pyramid (Pyramide du Louvre) from a distance and had to head over for some photo ops.
The large glass and metal pyramid was designed by Chinese American architect, I.M. Pei. It is surrounded by three smaller pyramids. Completed in 1989, it has become a landmark of the city.
The large pyramid serves as the main entrance to the Louvre Museum. The line didn’t seem too long surprisingly. I really wish I had the time to go in for a bit, but I’ll be sure to check it out next time.
I continued walking towards the other side where I saw the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel. Built between 1806 and 1808, the triumphal arch commemorates Napoleon’s military victories. You’ll see eight soldiers of the Empire on top.
To the west of the complex is the Jardin des Tuileries. The Tuileries Garden was created by Catherine de Medici as the garden of the Tuileries Palace in 1564. It eventually opened to the public in 1667 and became a public park after the French Revolution.
The garden was lovely and I could see why so many people choose to spend a few hours here. It was so peaceful.
I came upon one of the large fountains. It was surrounded by people lounging in chairs and basking in the sun.
This seemed like the perfect area to get a refreshing scoop of gelato and relax.
As much as I keep telling myself to try a new flavor, I’m a sucker for the slightly tart and refreshingly light flavor of lemon. Classic.
Afterwards, I kept walking towards the other side of the garden and saw an interesting statue. The sculpture depicts Theseus slaying a Minotaur, a Greek mythology creature with the head of a bull and the body of a man.
I exited the garden and came upon a fairly busy roundabout. I wanted to see the Arc de Triomphe which was several blocks away. With the limited time I had due to the train delay, I asked a man in a bright red bicycle taxi if he would bring me there for a fair price. He nodded and I hopped in.
Off we go! Riding alongside the cars and buses in a small open bike taxi was fun and it was much faster than walking.
He dropped me off at a corner across from the famous arc. The Arc de Triomphe de l’Étoile is one of the most famous monuments in Paris. It stands in the center of the Place Charles de Gaulle at the western end of Champs-Élysées.
There is an underground tunnel leading to the arc. Don’t even think about trying to cross the traffic circle! The tunnel is on the Avenue de la Grande Armee side of the circle. You can access this tunnel from the Wagram exit of the Metro.
Beneath the Arc is the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier from World War I which was added in 1921. It has a torch flame that burns continuously for an indefinite period of time. It burns in memory of the dead who were never identified.
After the arc, it was time to make my way towards another iconic landmark.
75001 Paris, France
+33 1 40 20 50 50
113 Rue de Rivoli
75001 Paris, France
Arc de Triomphe
Place Charles de Gaulle
75008 Paris, France