We had one job to do today - return the car to the Peugot place by midday. That involved dealing with the traffic around the Roissy Charles De Gaulle Airport - terrifying! Firstly, we had to check in to our hotel and drop off the bags. It all went very smoothly, bags dropped off and car returned without any issues. So that left us with a whole afternoon to explore the wonders of Paris!
We caught the train from the airport and found ourselves by the Seine, where we were amused to discover they have installed a 'beach' for the summer (photo on Right)
We wandered along the Seine taking in the sites - mostly the big attractions had huge queues so we just looked from the outside. Firstly we found the Louvre
...then wandered under the Arc de Triomphe de Carrousel, which is the little Arc near the louvre
We then meandered through the Jardin des Tuilleries to the Place du Concord with its magnificent Obelisk
From there we wandered away from the Champs Elysee and followed the Seine.
It was at this point that we came perilously close to falling for a scam! A woman walking beside us bent over and picked up a large gold ring, she then looked around and asked if it was ours. Said she didn't want it and gave it to us and wished us good luck. Moments later she asked for some money for food - penny dropped so I stuffed the ring back into her hand and we scampered off. Before too long we'd had the same thing tried on us at least 3 more times - good grief!
We finally found what I think is one of the most beautiful bridges anywhere, the Pont Alexandre III
And of course from there we could see what Dave was most keen on visiting the Tour Eiffel!
The queues were enormous...so we had a seat and watched the activities for a while. We were kept amused by a bunch of girls who were pestering tourists to sign a petition - every now and then the gendarmes would chase them and tear up their petitions. It was like a game of cat and mouse. Not sure how their scam worked but they were persistent! Once in a while even some armed soldiers wandered through - fascinating!
Our next point of interest was the proper Arc de Triomphe
This time we actually got in the queue, paid our money and climbed the couple of hundred steps to the top! The view of Paris was amazing - wall to wall buildings separated by tree lined boulevards. In the distance we could see Montmartre (this was as close as we got!)
On leaving the Arc we discovered that they were in the middle of a ceremony of some sort. We still don't know what it was but it involved soldiers of some sort, guns, swords, flowers and a flame! The soldiers involved (maybe legionnaires not sure) certainly had some pretty hefty medallery on their chests!
So our final spot was the Notre Dame de Paris. By this time it was too late to visit so we again sat and admired!
So that was our afternoon in Paris, we then caught the train back to the airport and got the bus to our hotel. Tomorrow we catch our flight back towards home. Crazy that a month has passed so quickly!