June 29, 2015 (Monday) – The Louvre Museum is possibly the world’s greatest repository of art and artifacts. It’s not just art that dominates the hallowed corridors of the old palace. There are a variety of relics from different places in the world. It is super cliché to visit the Louvre, but it’s a cliché worth visiting. Just maybe don’t visit in the summer months like I did. Because if you visit during the busy tourist season, then expect the queues and crowds. For me, the crush of the crowds is part of the Louvre experience.
June 28, 2015 – After the Avenue des Champs-Élysées, we went on a very long walk. We walked down to the Petit and Grand Palais. Then we continued across the Pont Alexandre III to the Left Bank. It was still somewhat early in the evening and our legs felt they could go further. Before we knew it, we were walking towards the Eiffel Tower. It wasn’t our plan, but we thought we’d go since we had time and energy.
After our trip to the top of the Arc de Triomphe, we came back down to ground level and explored a bit of the famous Avenue des Champs-Élysées. Is it really the shopping paradise that it’s made out to be? Is it really the pinnacle of Parisian avenues? Meh. It depends what you’re looking for, I guess.
As I’ve been using my card for a few weeks now, I must say that one has to keep a close eye on one’s account balance. I already had one incident where $2.75 was taken off my card by mistake. Good thing I noticed that money had disappeared off my card when I checked my balance.
We got off the Metro along the Avenue des Champs-Élysées and rehydrated in a McDonald’s, of all places. It’s hard to find an honest-to-God free water fountain in Paris. So we had to duck into an air-conditioning-less McDonald’s for a couple of bottles of water. Heat stroke on a trip to the City of Lights would be awful.
At the very end we saw the Arc de Triomphe at the end of the Avenue. I had planned to climb the Arc on a different day, but it was only the late afternoon and we had time and energy to do it.
After our visit to the Pantheon, we headed down the hill towards the Jardin du Luxembourg. When I was looking at possible apartments to rent, I originally had found one in this area near the Jardin, but that one disappeared quickly after a week of contemplation.
We climbed up from the River Seine and snaked our way through quiet Parisian side streets to the Pantheon. It may be all under wrap and renovation on the outside, but the interior is definitely worth the visit.
So we’re finally here in October 2015. I’ve already got my Compass Card and loaded it with a 1-zone monthly pass. I get to use the full version of this Compass Card for the first time today. That’s exciting for a transit geek like me. So you might be wondering how I got my Compass Card when it’s not readily available. Also what’s with this October 5th thing I keep hearing about?