After our trek out to Versailles and our trek UP the Eiffel Tower, we decided to head back to our respective hotels to freshen up. It was hot and we were active (and 75% of us a sweat hogs, it appears) so we all needed to hose off. Since we did the Tower in the late afternoon, we decided to do the Arc de Triomphe in the evening so we could see the Parisian lights at night (and at elevation). I figured I'd rather see this from the Arc than the Tower because I wanted a picture of the Tower at night.
We met at JB/RK's hotel (they stayed on points at the Renaissance near the Arc -- which was going for 499€ each night!!!) and had a quick cocktail. Our plan was to visit the Arc, then head out for dinner in a neighborhood we haven't visited before. We had a bit of trouble finding our way to the Arc -- there are several staircases going underground, but we seemed to find the ones that just took us to stairway going up - but not to the Arc, just across the round about. How could we get lost within sight of one of the most famous monuments in the world? Well, we did.
I was excited to see a photography exhibit inside the Arc that showcased all of the "triumphant marches" through/around the Arc since the mid-1880s. Interestingly enough, we couldn't find the exhibition space either -- this was not our evening. We did manage to make it to the top, perfectly timed to watch the Eiffel Tower sparkle on the hour. The Tower is clad with hundreds of twinkle lights that really look beautiful. The Arc didn't have all that many people visiting either, so we were able to take many photos while we were there. Of course, my camera battery was starting to die as well. This really wasn't my evening.
We then descended to street level to pour through our travel books for a dinner option. We decided we'd take the Metro over to Montparnasse and just wander aimlessly until we found something fab for dinner. The walked around for about 30 minutes, checking menus, trying to find a place off the beaten path. After reviewing about 6 places we headed back to the first place we found -- of course we did.
The dinner was quite tasty and the best part, we found they had white port, which is almost unheard of in the US -- of course we each had two glasses. We all really found our love for port in Portugal last year -- each time we enjoy a glass of port we retell the stories of our week in Portugal last year.
As we were quickly hurrying back to catch the last Metro train of the evening, we stumbled across several hundred rollerbladers riding through the streets. The best part -- the police were also on rollerblades! I'm not a blader, as I have absolutely no balance, but it was pretty cool to watch this whole thing.
Have you ever been within a few feet of a major monument and just couldn't figure out how to get TO the monument? Have you walked up 800 stairs in a day just to get a better view of the area? Do you and your friends have a favorite drink that immediately brings a smile to your face when you see it on the menu?