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Paris

The weather today was a little better so we made tracks to Notre Dame Cathedral which is massive and built on the Îlle de la Cité site – the historic birthplace of Paris. It was made famous by Victor Hugo’s novel and the musical (Les Misérables) that has toured the world. The cathedral had been an integral part of the history of the people of Paris since the 13th century. We wandered the cathedral admiring the fantastic stained glass windows. Fifteen 15m high stained-glass windows illuminate the chapel. We then climbed the tower for some magnificent views of a stunning city. After the tower we went to the cathedral’s crypt which was quite interesting.
Having pretty much seen all of Notre dame we went in search of the chapelle (where henry and Marie are buried) but it wasn’t open, so we wandered around – literally because the map we had was wrong which explains why we have been struggling to find places. We swapped maps located the very large opera building, which we had walked all around. We then entered the subway city and had a lovely baguette and even yummier cookies !

It was then up to Arc de Triomphe at Place Charles-de-Gaulle, which for many remains place de l’Étoile – twelve avenues radiate out from the Arc de Triomphe which stands at its centre. It was in honour of Napoleon’s victories. At 50m high and 45m wide, it is the largest construction of its type. Here we found more stairs to climb – the weather was holding off so we decided to go up even though we were tired from climbing Notre dame. The climb is definitely worth it – its awesome even when the wind is howling and the weather is not so great.

After descending we walked the Champs Élysées down to Place de la Concorde which was created in 1748 to display the equestrian statue of the king, place Louis XV was renamed place de La Révolution in 1792. The statue was taken down, and during the Terror over 1,000 heads rolled here, including those of Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette. The obelisk of Luxor on place de la Concorde is an Egyptian monument in pink granite weighing 250 tonnes, is 3,200 years old and is from the temple of Ramses II in Thebes. From de la Concorde through the jardin des tuileries to the Louvre where we caught the metro to the Eiffel tower.

The line at the Eiffel wasn’t too bad but the wind was picking up and the temperature dropping so we decided against going up, instead wandering around and under it taking some pictures. We then headed back to the hostel for an early night to rest our weary legs.

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