Paris 2012, Day 1
Thursday, May 10, 2012

Our journey began yesterday when the three of us: daughter, Christina, wife, Lee; and I boarded a British Airways flight from Dallas-Fort Worth Airport to Heathrow Airport in London. After a couple of hours of layover in London, we boarded another BA flight to Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris and arrived here at 1:00 PM.

A private car picks us up and takes us directly to our apartment on Rue Copernic near the Victor Hugo Metro Station. We rented this apartment because it is in a very quiet section of the City, near the metro, has an elevator, air conditioner, and Wi-Fi service. We meet the property manager at the apartment, sign some paperwork, and receive the keys and instructions from him on how to operate various appliances and equipment in the apartment. The apartment is nice, clean, sunny, modern, and very roomy for the three of us.

After a quick rest and change, we proceed to see the City.
Our apartment in Paris
Victor Hugo Traffic Circle
We walk from the apartment to Victor Hugo Metro Station which is located in a traffic circle and surrounded by restaurants and shops. We walk around the circle, stop to admire the colorful pastry and beautiful flower shops. We then select an outdoor table at a restaurant on the traffic circle to have a late lunch of steaks and salad and the foods are delicious.
Pastry shop near our apartment
Christina on Champs Elysees
Flower shop on Victor Hugo Traffic Circle
Quick lunch at the Les Debats Restaurant near our apartment
One of the flower beds on Champs Elysees
Champs Elysees Avenue is anchored by Acr de Triomphe on one end
Christina and Lee at Arc de Triomphe
After lunch, we go to the Victor Hugo Station, buy metro tickets, and ride the subway to the Charles de Gaulle Etoile Station to visit Arc de Triomphe, one of the most famous monuments in Paris. General Napoleon constructed the arch to commemorate French war victories and honor its soldiers. Standing in front of the monument, a visitor can be overwhelmed with the massive 150-foot tall arch and the relief sculptures carved directly onto the stone.

From Arc de Triomphe, we walk down Paris' most famous avenue, Champs Elysees. Sidewalks along this tree-line boulevard are packed with hurrying Parisians and the slow and curious tourists stopping to take pictures and marvel at all the fancy shops and restaurants. The road itself is also packed with vehicles and the colorful double decker tourist busses. The weather is extremely pleasant. On this afternoon in early May, it is sunny and temperature is in the 60's.
Christina and Lee at Trocadero Square
A few blocks from Arc de Triomphe on Champs Elysees we find the Virgin Megastore, a huge store that sells anything and everything that has to do with music and videos. I pick up my pre-purchased tickets to the Louvre here.

A few more blocks on Champs Elyseres, we find another metro station (Franklin Roosevelt) and take the subway to Trocadero Station to visit the most well-known monument in the world: the Eiffel Tower.

Walking from Trocadero Square and with the Eiffel Towwer in our full view, we pass gardens, water fountains, statues, and cross the d'Léna Bridge over the Seine River to get closer to it.

The Eiffel stands tall seemingly watching over the City. It exudes strength and grace, and forms a perfect symmetry with the lawn and diagonal sidewalks that seem to extend endlessly. If there is a monument in the world that can define its city, it would have to be the Eiffel Tower. This is our third time in Paris and the Eiffel Tower never ceases to amaze me as to how beautiful and timeless it is. What a jewel!

We leave the Eiffel ground and walk back to Trocadero where we find a cozy restaurant to have dinner then head back to the apartment and call it a night.
Public tango on Trocadero Square
Lee at the base of the Eiffel
The magnificient Eiffel Tower at night

What do you think?
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