Paris, France — Monday May 29, 2017

This morning the sky is blue and cloudless, but yesterday it was overcast, and there were occasional very light rain showers that were barely sufficient to dampen the pavement.

One of my goals on this trip was to make some progress on the novel I am writing, and I did, but I also got out and about in the morning and visited the area around the Arch de Triomphe.

I took the following photograph just after I emerged from the subway station. The Arc de Triomphe is located in the center of a huge traffic circle at one end of Paris’ most famous street, the Champs Elysée. The Arc de Triomphe is second only to the Eifel Tower as the most famous Parisian tourist attraction. If you click on the image to enlarge it, you may see that there are people on top. For 12 euros the equivalent of $13.40 in US currency, you can go to the top and survey Paris from a great height. However, there was a long line waiting to do that, and there was also a TSA-style security check. I am not a patient person, so I passed on seeing Paris from the top of the Arc.

You don’t have to run through the heavy traffic that circles the Arc de Triomphe to reach it. If fact, you might be arrested if you tried to do that. There is a tunnel leading under the streets from one side of the traffic circle to the other with stairs in the middle going up to the base of the monument. I took the following picture from underneath the Arc looking up.

France’s unknown soldier from World War I rests beneath the Arc de Triomphe. Here is a picture of his tomb. He is still honored, and the flowers surrounding the tomb are frequently replaced.

I took the following picture from the traffic island where the Arc is located. The broad street at the far side of the traffic is the Champs Elysée. There were so many large tour buses circling the Arc that I had to wait for a break in traffic to snap the photo.

After writing in the afternoon until my brain was in a fog, I took a walk and returned to the hostel to find the final stage of the Giro d’Italia bicycle race, an individual time trail, on TV. The Colombian rider Nairo Quintana was in the leader’s pink jersey at the start of the time trial. By the end if it, he was second. Quintana is a great rider in the mountains, but this time trial course had a number of 90 degree turns, and he didn’t navigate them well. He lost time on each one. The Dutch rider Tom Dumolin won the overall classification.

Everyone else here seems more interested in the French Open tennis tournament. How can anyone be interested in a junk sport like tennis when they could be watching cycling?

Later I did some reading. I finished the Gabriel García Márquez autobiography Vivir para contarla over a week ago and am currently reading Kommant in Auschwitz, the memoirs of an SS Officer who was one of the commanders of the Auschwitz death camp during World War II.

One thought on “Paris, France — Monday May 29, 2017”

  1. I enjoyed reading this post as well as the prior posts of your journey. Thanks, Jack.

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