June 28, 2015 (Tuesday) – We managed to pack a lot in this day. Morning at the Musee d’Orsay. A quick visit to the Rodin Museum. Paid our respects to Napoleon Bonaparte. Walked through the history of French military. Grabbed gelato on Rue Cler. We were now making our way to the Champs de Mars and the Eiffel Tower.
If you haven’t figured out by now, Paris is a walking city. We walked everywhere. After visiting the Musee D’Orsay, the Musee Rodin, and Les Invalides, we continued to walk towards the Eiffel Tower. We were really ahead of schedule and made sure our route to the Parisian landmark would take us through Rue Cler.
I had read about Rue Cler in a Rick Steeves travel book. Mr. European travel guru, Rick Steeves, highly recommended spending time along Rue Cler for several reasons. Rue Cler is home to a compact collection of local epiceries, fromageries, boulangeries, and more. It is a cleaned up microcosm of every aspect of French daily living.
We made our way across the wide Parisian boulevard and found our way to foot of the dome. This dome was originally the Royal Chapel. In 1840, it was designated to become Napoleon’s tomb. However, the required modifications to include a crypt took over 20 years to complete. The Dome in its current form was completed in 1861.
June 30, 2015 (Tuesday) – Auguste Rodin was a famous French sculptor who is considered one of the progenitors of modern sculpture. The Rodin Museum was not high on my list of places to visit, but it was just too conveniently placed in between the Musee d’Orsay and Les Invalides, home of Napoleon’s tomb. It was a destination along the way to another destination. Our Paris Museum Pass allowed us quick entry into the museum grounds. So why not?
June 30, 2015 (Tuesday) – Our fifth day in Paris started with a visit to the Musée d’Orsay. It was a 30 minute Metro ride on the green Line 12 from our Marcadet-Poissoniers. Even though we got to the Museum early, it was already a long line-up to get into the d’Orsay. We had our Paris Museum Pass that allowed us to go through a different line. However, that line was just as busy as the regular ticket line this morning.
The Musée d’Orsay was another high priority on my visit to Paris. One of my clients had talked about how much she loved the Musée d’Orsay over the Louvre Museum. I know that the Musée d’Orsay houses many of the great works of the great artists. I had high expectations and I was not disappointed.
June 29, 2015 (Monday) – After exploring the Louvre Museum for the better half of a day, we came back out into the Parisian summer sun. We passed through the Tuileries Gardens to our lunch destination. We had to walk down the busy Rue de Rivoli and then weave along a couple of back streets before arriving at our lunch spot on Rue du Mont Thabor.
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.
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.