Paris Sightseeing – Bois de Boulogne, Paris, France

We caught the 10am shuttle this morning to the drop off point at Porte Maillot, which turns out to be an enormous building site currently. We navigated our way through the temporary walkways hoping we could find our way back for pick up.

First stop of the day the Arc de Triomphe, inaugurated in 1836 to commemorate the fallen in the in the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars. It sits in the middle of the maddest roundabout ever, the Place de l’Étoile. A junction between 12 avenues and gloves-off traffic control of beeping, nudging and outright pulling out which is amusing to watch. We thankfully could take a subway to the Arc de Triomphe for some closer up shots, where we were told first by security then by the police that no dogs were allowed. However, we were allowed to carry them. I can only assume this is as the French do not appear to be good at clearing up after there dogs.

Arc de Triomphe from the Champs-Élysée

Next we we walked the length of the Champs-Élysée, lined by trees and haute couture shops, plus Macdonalds, though it had a very attractive canopy adorned with flowers.

We made it to the Place de la Concorde at the bottom to get our first glances of the Eiffel Tower across the Seine. A wide and elaborate square with Cleopatra’s needle in the centre. We both agreed this would look more in place in Egypt where it belongs.

Next we stopped off at the Louvre. The queue for entry bending round the block in the direct sun would have been enough to convince us to move on even if we did not have the dogs. I guess 90% are there just to see the Mona Lisa and tick that box.

We could see glimpses of Notre-Dame Cathedrale from here. Sitting on an island in the Seine, following the devastating fire it was covered in scaffold as the renovation works continue.

We decided as the poor dogs were flagging in the heat to get a boat back up river to the Eiffel Tower and hopped on the Batobus from the stop at the Notre Dame.

The sun was pretty strong this afternoon and it was a relief to get a breeze heading up river. Though you had to pick your spot on the glass topped boats. It was cool to arrive at the Eiffel Tower by boat. These days it is surrounded by a big fence with pay for entry, though Kev remembers walking freely underneath it in years gone by.

It was then an hour’s walk back to the pick up point, so we have taken our time with a few refreshment stops on route. We will grab a bite to eat before the shuttle back, it would be rude not to in the gastronomic capital of the world.

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