Meandering Through Paris – Part 4 – Champs-Élysées

Tuesday was our 14th wedding anniversary. Even before we got to Paris, we had planned to spend the day on the Champs-Élysées,  just to be able to say that we did, LOL. But we got a late start on that because we had to go back to one of the main train stations to change our train ticket to Berlin. The reason I’m mentioning it here is in case it helps anyone else. When we originally booked the overnight train to Berlin for Thursday night (which was significantly cheaper than the day train), we had difficulty understanding the options of sleeping compartments that the woman at the ticket counter was offering. My husband speaks fluent French, but the terms she was using didn’t match the options we had researched on the Internet. So when we got back to our hotel room and I checked online to see exactly what she had given us, we were shocked and dismayed that she had put us in the highest bunks (3rd level) of a 6-person sleeping compartment. My husband is 73, and I have to use the bathroom 3-4 times a night. So having to climb up and down ladders all night was ludicrous for us…and the idea of sleeping with 4 strangers – with all of our luggage in that teeny tiny compartment and having read too many horror stories of travellers losing everything while they slept – really stressed me out.

So back to the train station we went, and were very fortunate to be served by the manager himself, who also was shocked and dismayed that we had been given the top-level bunks. He quickly and pleasantly changed us to a private compartment (at very little extra cost) and we went happily on our way. Again, I mention this in case anyone reading this is contemplating using one of the night-train options. Be very clear about what you want – and don’t want. Be aware that they will often automatically book you into a 6-person sleeping compartment, which may not be what you want. The compartments are VERY TINY! We had one big suitcase each, and that was too much for the space. Despite what the train website says, there is no storage space for luggage!

Anyway, on with the day. We took the underground train all the way from that train station to the Arc de Triomphe.  When we got off the train and finally found the proper exit and climbed the stairs, there it was! Right in front of us. After seeing pictures of this iconic arch all of my life, it was a thrill to be standing there gazing up at it! We jostled our way through the never-ending crowds and took a few pictures, then followed the underground tunnel to explore it further. Hubby read almost all of the names inscribed in the walls of the Arc, checking to see if there might be any of his ancestors listed there (he didn’t find any).

From there we took our long-awaited stroll down the Champs-Élysées. I’m not a chic person by any stretch of the imagination, and don’t buy designer labels, but have to admit that it was a lot of fun meandering along and taking in all the sites. We were admittedly somewhat distracted by hunger by that time. And one of the things that we had both hoped to find while in Paris (but hadn’t found thus far) was French Onion soup. We managed to finally find a bistro that did serve it, and that’s where we chose to enjoy our lovely anniversary lunch on the Champs-Élysées.

Overall, the Champs-Élysées was very crowded and too expensive for our budget, but we had fun exploring various stores, and thoroughly enjoyed being there. In hindsight I probably should have taken more pictures – more exciting pictures – but I was too caught up in the sheer joy of being there. And we were hungry, LOL. I did manage to take a few pictures to share here, but admit that they don’t even remotely reflect the ambiance and elegance of the Champs-Élysées.

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Sharon at the Arc de Triomph in Paris!

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André at the Arc de Triomphe in Paris!

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The Arc de Triomphe in Paris! As magnificent in person as it is in the pictures!

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I can’t resist another picture, LOL…Arc de Triomphe in Paris

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Inside the Arc de Triomphe in Paris.

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André enjoys being inside the Arc de Triomphe in Paris

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André is reading all of the names inscribed on the walls of the Arc de Triomphe in Paris

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André is still reading all of the names inscribed on the walls of the Arc de Triomphe in Paris

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Sharon is excited to be on the Champs-Élysées!

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Hooray! We’re here! On the Champs-Élysées!

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One of the first sights we see as we start strolling down the Champs-Élysées is this staircase! Very sparkly. I don’t remember what store this was, but the security guard was very kind to let me come in and take this picture. It was much more sparkly in person than in the picture. 🙂

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There were a few of these car dealerships right there on the Champs-Élysées! Some gorgeous cars in there! It was very hard to get pictures because of the crowds in each store. This is the Peugeot dealership.

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This was so cool! But we weren’t allowed to sit in it, so no pictures of André driving it. In the Peugeot store on the Champs-Élysées

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Another sparkly beauty in the Peugeot store on the Champs-Élysées

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That grey/silver section actually sparkled. In the Peugeot store on the Champs-Élysées

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Seemed to be the primary motorcycle parking alley. Off the Champs-Élysées

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The Mercedes-Benz on the Champs-Élysées…we didn’t get pictures of the cars inside this one.

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I would have loved to go in here…not sure why we didn’t…I think we were too hungry by this time. On the Champs-Élysées

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We didn’t even look inside the doors of this one either…looking back, I can’t believe I didn’t.

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We were in Paris for a whole week, and checked many menus throughout our meanderings, but this was one of the few that offered French Onion soup, so this is where we decided to enjoy our anniversary lunch. On the Champs-Élysées

This is our French Onion soup at the Cafe George V on the Champs-Élysées. It was a big bowl of soup!

This is our French Onion soup at the Cafe George V on the Champs-Élysées. It was a big bowl of soup!

André at the Cafe George V on the Champs-Élysées

André at the Cafe George V on the Champs-Élysées

fiery sky...

And to cap off a beautiful day, a beautiful sunset in the sky outside our hotel window! The sky looked like it was on fire!

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The sky was alive!

last picture

One more picture…

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Copyright © Sharon C. Matthies, Meanderings (blog), 2014. All rights reserved.
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About Sharon

I love to write. I love to write myself into being right here right now. Writing releases something in me that needs wings, writing opens doors and windows that I often don't even realize are possible, writing helps me breathe out the dusty old, and to breathe in the new and possible. My hope is that maybe writing here in this blog will bring new light into these dusty old hallways and help me to clear out the thinking processes and mindsets that just don't work for me anymore. I seek to breathe new light and life into the nooks and crannies of a soul that has been feeling somewhat lost and frayed because of the last few patches of road I've had to travel.
This entry was posted in Arc de Triomphe, Champs-Élysées, Paris, Travel and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Meandering Through Paris – Part 4 – Champs-Élysées

  1. That sunset was gorgeous! Great capture!!

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  2. Iva Pokorny says:

    Oh Sharon .. I liked the sparkly staircase and the large onion soup ..Yummy! And those beautiful cloud formations you managed to get. Thank you for sharing 🙂

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  3. Great photography. Such BIG photos in such a wittle camera. It’s magic! 🙂 I loved the pictures of you and your hubby too. What lovely memories you two have gathered for yourselves.

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    • Sharon says:

      Thanks, Angelika. Yes, cameras are magic! It always amazes me how they can capture moments the way they do. And then show things that we didn’t even see at the time of taking the picture. I love the memories that we created there together. It’s shared adventures like these that become the stuff that help keep old marriages alive and thriving. It’s good for us to look back and remember together the fun and magic.

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