A walk down the Avenue Des Champs-Elysees can make you dizzy. There’s a lot of stimulation, both visual and physical.
First, the sidewalks are wide, so, you’re not running into fellow pedestrians. However, the vehicular traffic is usually insane.
When the sun goes down, the lights get turned on. The entire boulevard begins to twinkle with car lights and lights from store and restaurant fronts located along the way.
Crossing a side street can be challenging. Pedestrians have the right of way, but drivers can be aggressive.
In the evening, it seems that people make their way from shop to shop or from one café to another. Just like anyplace else in the world, you can get a cool pair of athletic shoes or an ultra thin cell phone. There are plenty of places to shop and eat, but in this Unseasoned Traveler’s opinion, this boulevard is far too commercial and full of some of the same stuff you might run into at home. However, do pop into a McDonald’s for a quick look. Yup…you heard moi…McDonald’s.
Fast food has definitely picked up a French flair. Here’s some of the menu.
The entire McDonald’s experience is automated. Guests order food from cheerful, interactive kiosks and then proceed to a counter for pickup. All very tidy and clean. The best parts are the dessert selection and the authentic coffee machines….some spread and very French. Eh?
McDonald’s Paris! ….within walking distance of the Arc de Triomphe…the very place where Napoleon’s funeral was held…the very place where the Nazis marched….the very place where Paris celebrated after the Allied liberation.
The Arc sits in a circle on the Champs-Elysees, and cars enter and leave the circle in mad dashes to who knows where destinations. Crossing this circle to actually visit the Arc is dangerous, so the French, in their great wisdom, have constructed an underground pedestrian tunnel in order to safely and quickly reach the Arc.
A short walk is rewarded with this awesome experience.
The Arc is the resting place of France’s Unknown Soldier. Visitors can get close to the tomb, but must respect the boundaries.
After my traveling companion and I paid our respects, we gave some attention to the carvings of the Arc.
Bruce and I thought about climbing to the top of the Arc, but decided not to. We were cold and hungry.
Instead,we took in the full moon view from the back of the Arc and the spectacular Eiffel Tower all aglow ending the day’s junket for this Unseasoned Traveler. Bonne nuit.