Walking West

Image credit: George Pearman

Walking West

I set out at around 10 AM (I had trouble sleeping last night: it was noisy since we had the windows open since it was hot and I had a nap at 8 PM). No fancy route tracking in this post unfortunately as my phone had extremely low battery remaining (I wanted to save this for photographs).

Breakfast

I ate at a random cafe/bakery along my walk. I got a cappuccino and an almond croissant. Ordering food without knowing French is easier than you might expect: you point at the menu and make assorted sounds.

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Breakfast: cappuccino and an almond croissant

Paying for food without knowing French is also easy: you hand the clerk a 10 Euro note and receive change.


I walked from the Airbnb directly towards the west (today I knew which direction was which). Along the way I saw some interesting looking buildings. Here are two that merited pictures:

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French Buildings

Since I’ve been in France I’ve noticed that the French value their cars a lot more than the English and Scottish do. I see a lot of fancy cars like Audis, BMWs, Ferraris, Lamborghinis. I see a few more common cars like Peugeots and Citroëns.

Here’s a Citroën that wishes it were a Mini Cooper:

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Wanna be a mini

After walking for about 20 minutes, I happened to run into Vikram, who had left the Airbnb about 15 minutes before I did. We discovered that we had similar destinations in mind for the day and walked together from that time forward.

After an hour of aimless walking (albeit towards the west) we stopped at Parc Monceau where we people watched for 20 minutes. There’s a lot more people running around parks in France than there are in America!

Here’s a well timed panorama from the park. Normally we saw a huge density of people on this path, but I got lucky and timed my shot well so that it looked like the path is relatively empty.

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Lunch

Lunch was at a Thai restaurant with a waiter that spoke fluent Hindi; I ordered Vietnamese food. The menu was entirely in French so I pointed at “Set Menu A” and got seemingly random food (for a foreigner that doesn’t understand French). The food was delicious, although somewhat expensive (when compared to a 4€ sandwich).

Dessert was Vietnamese nougat (I must have ordered this with my set menu) which tasted like peanut butter and was chewy.

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Arc de Triomphe

We turned left at an intersection and saw the (much anticipated) Arc de Triomphe!

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Arc de Triomphe

As we got closer we saw a big intersection around the monument. We took a tunnel underground and found ourselves inside a (large humungous) roundabout. I took these panoramas while there:

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Arc de Triomphe

A series of selfies taken as I walked under the Arc de Triomphe:

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Some triumphant selfies

I must have caused quite a spectacle, because Vikram wanted to get in on the selfie action (just kidding, I forced him to join in):

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More selfies

The Arc de Triomphe is quite tall, and the viewing area is quite close, so taking good panoramas is quite hard (thinking of words synonymous for quite is also somewhat difficult). So I took some bad panoramas that turned out to be pleasingly goofy:

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Here’s a view of the intersection, outwards from the Arc:

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Outward view

I realized later that I only actually took one normal (not a panorama or selfie) picture of the Arc de Triomphe, here it is in its splendor:

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Average photo

The tunnel to and from the Arc tries to entertain its guests as they walk from the streets to the Arc. Here’s a panorama of a panorama inside the tunnel:

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Eiffel Tower

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We approached the Eiffel Tower from a bridge, which allowed for some great pictures:

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This photo was lined up stupidly perfectly so that the Eiffel Tower is hidden behind a pole:

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Some trees provided an iconic shot of the tower as we approached:

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I got some artsy panormas of the legs of the tower:

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Once again I took selfies as I walked under the Eiffel Tower. Vikram insisted on partaking in the experience.

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Eiffel Tower Selfies

Vertical panoramas turned out to be a whole new world of fun (as in, I bent my body in an arc of triumph):

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Here’s a normal picture upwards from near the center of the Eiffel Tower:

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Vikram and I spent almost an hour in the park near the Eiffel Tower (Champ de Mars). I read The Silkworm (the sequel to The Cuckoo’s Calling) while Vikram read the news. Here’s the fantastic views that we experienced in this great atmosphere:

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I feel like its worth noting: the Eiffel Tower is seriously huge in reality; pictures do not do it justice. I highly recommend that you see it in person.


Dinner

We bought cheese, veggies, and humus at a local grocery store and we went next door to a bakery to get fresh baguettes. Dinner was eaten at the Airbnb while watching more Would I Lie to You?, our new favorite show. It was a delicious meal for a small cost.

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Dinner, 10/10 would eat again