September 3rd marked our last day of Paris at leisure before we joined the Insight tour group for an evening boat cruise down the Seine River. We took advantage of the day to ascend to the second level of the Eiffel Tower. Unlike the Jeffersons, we did not go all the way to the top. The second level is recommended for the best views of Paris since the top of the tower renders features of the city too small to appreciate. Moreover, it was an additional cost and not wheelchair friendly enough for my father.
After all the high level eye candy, we grabbed a taxi to see L’Arche de Triomphe during daylight hours and hopefully ascend to the top (which also provides some excellent views of the city). We chowed down on a nice pizza lunch near Place Charles de Gaulle. After lunch, Elaine and I headed out to the arch to see about taking a ride to the top. Unfortunately, the access to the top was closed, so we made do just seeing it from the outside.
One thing that is not easy to grasp from photos is just how large L’Arche to Triomphe really is. When one looks at it from the top of the Eiffel Tower, it dwarfs the surrounding buildings and the people on top look like insects.
Paris has it’s share of traffic, but they handle it well enough. I attribute this to better drivers and the use of roundabouts which seem to keep things flowing more fluidly than our traffic light grid system. To give you an idea, I made a brief video of traffic going around L’Arche de Triomphe, which is one of the most congested areas of the city.
After resting a bit, we joined 35 other people on the Insight Tour and went for a cruise down the Seine River. The group was a mixture of Canadians, Australians and Americans. This was also the last day we were free to do as we choose. For the next 5 days, we had to follow their tight, to the minute, schedule and wake up at the crack of dawn. Not my way to travel, but we figured it would be the easiest way for my father to deal with moving around. However, theory and reality are two different things as you’ll discover in some future posts.
As always, feel free to visit the following gallery to see some of the other day’s photos.