|The Arc de Triomphe|
|Le Depart de 1792 or La Marseillaise|
When I emerged from the metro, the arch was a block away and I wondered how to get there when I saw an underpass nearby. In the tunnel there was a long lineup -- to get into the Arc de Triomphe and climb up to see the sights.
Again having been up the Eiffel Tower, going up the arch seemed redundant and felt I had more to do than wait in line. However the perspective from this point would be interesting as the place was originally known as Place de l'Etoile because a dozen streets emanate from it like a star.
The arch is beautiful, with its floral detailing on the ceiling and walls. The tribute to Napoleon's soldiers is extraordinary and successive leaders have used this monument to commemorate their generals in battle. In the middle lies the grave of the unknown soldier from World War I with the eternal flame and flowers around it.
|Outside the Louis Vuitton boutique|
While Emperor Napoleon commissioned the arch in 1806 after his victory in Austerlitz, it wasn't completed until 1836 under the reign of King Louis-Philippe.
From there I walked east down Champs Elysees and passed by some famous restaurants including L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon and Pierre Gagnaire's Pierre.
Pierre's menu seemed very exotic including langoustines with the foam of steamed dim sum? Wondered what that smelled like -- with enoki, radish and turnips with rice vinegar. Sounds intriguing.
And yes this is also where all the high-end fashion brands are situated. I walked into Louis Vuitton and was very surprised to see no line up outside nor the swarms of mainland Chinese I had read about months before who are all .
|The original Guerlain store on Champs Elysees|
However I was surprised not to find any historical links with the brand to the founder, but perhaps people come here to shop, not to look at a museum.
I saw a Marriott hotel and it seemed like some VIPs were in there with two rows of young people in uniform and adults dressed up in some kind of military parade gear. Perhaps US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton? I'd seen her on the television news in the morning while eating breakfast as she was in Paris to discuss the situation in Syria.
However, after waiting for some time and not really knowing who we were waiting to come out, I gave up and looked around Sephora next door. When I came out, the crowd was still there, waiting.
|Waiting for some VIPs to come out of the Marriott hotel|
Then further down the street there are the likes of Lacoste, Zara and Benetton.
By the time I reached the obelisk, which was originally from the tomb of Ramses III in Luxor, Champs Elysees seemed somewhat underwhelming. Nevertheless, an interesting fact is tat where the obelisk stands is where the guillotine was, and where Louis XVI was beheaded in January 1793.
|The obelisk where the guillotine used to be|
"May my blood bring happiness to France".
Words to ruminate on...