travel recap - paris (days 3 and 4)

We woke up on our third day in Paris and we were ready for some more sightseeing.  On the agenda for this day was le Musee de l'Armee followed by a walk down Rue Cler to do some foodie shopping  for our dinner the next day.

outside le Musee d'lArmee

I have to admit that I wasn't very excited for le Musee de l'Armee, but I ended up really enjoying it.  There was tons to see, and Napoleon's tomb was extremely impressive - that guy sure had a HUGE ego.  The museum had tons of interesting weapons, armour, and exhibits - we spent a lot of time there, but I'm sure that Hubby could have spent another couple hours there.

Next stop was lunch at a nearby cafe, and then off to Rue Cler for some shopping.

Rue Cler was pretty awesome, as Rick Steeves said "the perfect place to assemble a picnic lunch" and he didn't lie; the street is filled with produce stands, cheese shops, butcher shops, and bakeries - basically a foodie heaven.

just one small portion of the cheese shop
Our fourth day in Paris was one of our more leisurely ones.  We slept in a bit, and then took the metro out to the Arc de Triomphe.  By this day I had the metro totally figured out, and we found it really handy to get around everywhere.  I thought I knew exactly what the Arc de Triomphe was all about - one of the sights to see, but nothing super impressive.  I was wrong.  It was a lot bigger and more ornate than I expected it to be, and the view from the top was fantastic.

I was told before I left Canada to climb the Arc de Triomphe in the daytime and the Eiffel Tower at night, and I agree with doing it this way.  From the top of the Eiffel Tower, you're so high up that you don't really see anything (it's all just little dots), so if you do it at night, you can experience all the lights of the city (and see why it's called "the City of Lights").  With the Arc, you're not as high so you can see things easier, and you also get a pretty fantastic view of the Eiffel Tower.

my favourite view
After the Arc we took a leisurely stroll down the Champs Elysees, where I did some shopping, and we stopped for a quick lunch.  Our next stop was the Place de la Concorde, at the other end of the loooong street from the Arc.  It was a little eerie standing at the place where Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI were beheaded.

fountain at the Place de la Concorde
Afterwards, we walked back to the apartment to meet up with C & B to indulge in our Rue Cler purchases from the day before.  C & B then went out for a fancy dinner, and Trevor and I headed out the Eiffel Tower for our 9:30 date with the iron lady.

I have to admit that I'm not the best with heights, so I was a little scared of going all the way to the top, but I figured that we could always make our way down to one of the lower levels if the top was freaking us out too much.  It was pretty windy, but all in all it was fine, and it was pretty cool to feel like you were on top of the world.  Hubby even bought me a glass of champagne at the top to celebrate our magical night in the city of lights.

see, city of lights

Once our feet were firmly planted on solid ground again, we grabbed a snack and found a spot with a great view of the glowing tower and soaked up all the last minutes of a great day in Paris.

PS:  Are you planning a trip to Paris?  If you are, I have a piece of advice that will likely save you a little money and a LOT of time: the Paris Museum Pass.  We purchased two 6 day passes before we left and we didn't stand in a single line up the entire time we were in Paris.  Our philosophy was that even if they didn't save us money, they saved us a lot of time, which is equally as valuable when you're travelling.  Note that the Paris Museum Pass doesn't include entrance to the Eiffel Tower, but you can reserve your date and time before you leave online, which is what we did and it was a breeze.

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