Friday, October 20, 2017

Paris Trip Day 6

Today was the last day of our Paris museum pass so we wrapped up our visits by going to the last few spots we wanted to see.
We began our day by checking out one of the largest outdoor markets in Paris: the Bastille market. It is a short walk from our apartment and it is the length of a city block with three lanes of vendors selling their products. There we saw a lot of sea food and fresh produce. We also saw butchers, flower shops, cheese vendors, bakeries, some apparel, souvenirs and even a chair restoration booth.
Stella didn’t care for the smell of the seafood places and held her nose as we walked by each of them. The place was really crowded and we had to hold hands to keep together. It was good for the kids to see how Parisians regularly shop for their groceries. There isn’t really a grocery store near where we are staying. There are a couple of small markets that sell packaged foods, and several small produce vendors and bakeries along the road. The locals must stop at each of the shops to purchase the various ingredients for their meals.

After leaving the market we stopped at Victor Hugo’s home on Place the Vosges. He was 30 years old when he moved to the house with his wife and children after completing the novel The Hunchback of Notre Dame. It was during his 16 years stay at the residence that he completed Le Miserables. Victor Hugo was politically active during his life and objected to the rule by Napoleon Bonaparte III.  In 1855 his family and residence became under attack and they had to flee first to Brussells and later to the Channel Islands between England and France where they lived in exile until 1870.  He passed away in 1885.

Our last museum visit was the Arc du Triumph. We climbed 284 steps to the top of the arc from where we could see the entire downtown spreading around out from 12 roads that converge at the arc like the spokes of a wheel. At the bottom of the monument, there is an eternal flame dedicated to the unknown soldier. It was lit for the first time at the end of WW1 and has remained lit ever since.
We walked a long way along the Champs-Elysees. There were many posh stores and even a few Ferraris and Lamborghinis for rent.
I gave in and allowed the kids to have an ice-cream at McDonalds (apparently the most profitable McDonald in the world). We had to pass a security bag check and order from self-serve touch screen machines to get our food.
From there we walked a couple of miles to the Carousel Mall attached to the Louvre to purchase some of the best chocolates in Paris.

To reach it we traveled across the Tuileries Garden where the locals gather to enjoy a sunny day and walked next to the Place de la Concorde where a 3,300 year old obelisk of Luxor engraved in hieroglyphics stands marking the spot where Luis the XVI and 1,200 other were beheaded during the reign of terror (a.k.a. the revolution).

We wrapped up our day with souvenir shopping and some yummy treats prior to trekking back to our apartment a long a now well familiar path.