Paris 2014 – Day 4 – Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, Champs-Élysées

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The beauty of visiting Paris in the summer is that there are so many things you can only truly experience in full if the weather is warm and clear. You can stroll down the city streets in a summer dress and feel the sun kiss your skin and the aura in the air guide you along to each of your destinations with a smile on your face.

Day 4 of our time in the city was largely spent outside and was probably my favourite day of the trip. We went back to admire the Eiffel Tower in the morning, ate lunch nearby with a great view, climbed the Arc de Triomphe for a 360° view of the city, strolled along the Champs-Élysées, and watched the sun set at arguably the most stunning bridge I’ve ever seen. I really wish my time-turner worked so I could take myself back to that day.


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On our first day in Paris, we had trekked to the Eiffel Tower in the late afternoon and saw it during the gorgeous hours of dusk and again at midnight when the twinkling lights came on. Given the direction of the sunset, we hadn’t gotten any pictures from the east side. If you know me at all, you might guess that there was no way I would leave the city without seeing the tower in all its greatness from every possible angle and in every possible light. So on our fourth day, we grabbed a quick breakfast at the café outside of our hotel and took off for Trocadéro Square.

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 Magnificent.

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Guys… I’m so strong that I lifted the Eiffel Tower like a damn champ.

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I don’t think I’ll ever be able to explain my fascination for this structure. I don’t know if it’s because it’s located in one of the most beautiful and romantic cities in the world. I don’t know if it’s because of the intricate latticed iron. I don’t know if it’s because hundreds of people had literally banded together in protest of the tower, calling it a useless and monstrous thing, and it was built anyway because, damnit, it was going to be friggin’ awesome and comparable to the Egyptian pyramids.

But I love it, and I always will.

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My Outfit of the Day:
Dress – Urban Planet, Purse – H&M, Necklace – Forever 21, Sandals – Topshop, Sunglasses – Ardene

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After getting our fill of photos, we took a short walk over to Musée du quai Branly, where we would be having lunch at its rooftop restaurant, Les Ombrés. Lauded for its fantastic view of the Eiffel Tower while dining, I knew we had to check it out.

The restaurant was fairly quiet for a Monday afternoon, but lent itself to a relaxing meal. I wish we had been seated closer to the windows (or, better yet, fully outside), but we ate inside before adventuring onto the patio to take photos. I think that if the patio was set up for drinks and lounging, it would be a perfect venue.

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The food itself was delicious. And I’m hitting myself over the head now for not remembering to take a picture of the menu, as I cannot – for the life of me – remember what these dishes were called. But the entrée I had was a noodle bowl of sorts with slices of duck breast. Yummy.

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And for dessert, what I called “the snowball”. If I remember correctly, there were peaches and egg whites involved. I wasn’t particularly a huge fan of the snowball part, but points for beautiful presentation.

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And while the Eiffel Tower was in close view, I mostly enjoyed the boosted view of the surrounding buildings.

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My brother, the American Eagle model.

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After lunch, we headed over to another familiar sight – the Arc de Triomphe, another attraction that has to be seen both during the day and evening.

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We had decided to pass on climbing up the Eiffel Tower for the view of the city, but couldn’t miss climbing the Arc for its panoramic view of the city. It takes 284 steps to get to the top. A good mid-day workout.

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Once you reach the top, you’ll realize the hike was worth it. Move along the perimeter of the terrace and you will get an unobstructed 360° view of the city. My favourite was being able to see all 12 streets run towards the center of the l’etoile where we were situated- some were bustling with traffic, others were quieter. We also brought our zoom lens to take in a closer view of some of the city’s well-known landmarks, like Sacré-Cœur and La Grande Arche de la Défense in Paris’s business district.

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 I also loved seeing all of the lush green trees along each of the long-stretching streets.

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Thanks to our zoom lens, we were afforded another close look at the Eiffel Tower, with the sunlight hitting it just right for the shot.

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 Beautiful weather and a beautiful view.

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After our descent, we would be strolling along the Champs-Élysées, named one of the best shopping streets in the world and home to luxury brands, cafés, and restaurants. It stretches all the way to the Louvre and passes through the likes of Place de la Concorde and Jardins des Tuileries.

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Just before leaving, we caught the beginning of the daily ritual of rekindling the Memorial Flame at the base of the Arc. Since it was first ignited, the flame has never been extinguished!

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To start our stroll along the avenue, we stopped at a small crêperie down one of the alleys called La Crêperie des Champs-Élysées. You can’t go wrong with crepes of any kind in Paris, but they were overpriced. Nonetheless, they filled our hungry bellies and gave us the boost of energy we needed for our walk.

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While we didn’t buy anything, I had to make a special stop at Ladurée’s flagship store to pick up some macarons, even with the line spilling out the door. The interior is cozy and the tearoom is adorable – I’ll definitely have to come for tea and treats next time! Unsurprisingly, the macarons were delicious.

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Our long walk led us all the way to the Grand Palais, another of the city’s  museums and exhibition halls.

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But my favourite thing in the area is the Pont Alexandre III bridge. It stretches across the river towards the Invalides and Eiffel Tower quarters, and it is ornate and absolutely gorgeous. It’s decorated with Art Nouveau lamps, gilt-bronze statues, and nymph reliefs. This is also where Gil meets Gabrielle in the rain at the end of Midnight in Paris.

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From here, we watched the sunset with the ever-present Eiffel Tower on the horizon. Majestic.

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Tired at the end of our perfect day, we decided to have dinner at a restaurant just across the street from our hotel, L’Européen. Our concierge had previously recommended it to us, and we discovered that it’s actually owned by the same group as Le Congrès Maillot, where we had my dad’s birthday dinner the previous night. Given the opportunity, I had to get more oysters. We’d recommend against the tripe sausage, though, which my brother tried. When at these restaurants, it’s seafood or bust!

Coming up next… we venture along the other end of Champs-Élysées to see the Louvre, Jardes des Tuileries, and Place de la Concorde, and check out the shopping options at Galeries Lafayette and Printemps Haussmann, before hopping on the Eurostar to London!


Follow along on my 2014 trip to Paris and London!
Day 1: {Paris} Notre Dame, Île de la Cité, Eiffel Tower
Day 2: {Paris} South of La Seine, Jardin du Luxembourg, Arc de Triomphe at Night
Day 3: {Paris} Versailles & My Dad’s Birthday

2 thoughts on “Paris 2014 – Day 4 – Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, Champs-Élysées

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