Now, when you think of things to see and do in Paris, you naturally think of the Louvre, the Eiffel tower and things like that.
Well, with a week here in Paris, I’ve found myself with more than enough time to do some other stuff.
Like going down into a sewer…
No, I didn’t just pop open a manhole cover and climb down into the dirty, dank darkness below.
I went across the bridge to a place I had marked on my map offering a “sewer tour”.
The spot where you go in for the tour is actually so non-descript that even with it marked on my map, it still took me a bit to actually find it.
After being royally confused as to where this place was I noticed some people walking up some stairs from underground.
Oh, I’m getting warm…
Sure enough, as I cranked my head a little, I saw a sign for “Visite des egouts de Paris”.
And as I looked a few feet further there was a little booth with stairs heading down below.
All right, guess I’m going down into the sewer!
Now, in all reality, this part of the sewer is cleaned up and setup as a little museum with displays about the history of Paris’ sewer system through the ages.
There was still sewer water flowing below but it wasn’t this dirty and disgusting thing you would imagine.
After about an hour of exploring and learning about the sewer system here in Paris it was time to hop up onto ground again.
I was just off of Rue Cler which is known for it’s street market, restaurants and general joie de vive.
Perfect place for lunch!
I walked past a church as the crowds were leaving from their Sunday service over to Rue Cler.
Amoungst the flower shops, boulangeries and brasseries I found exactly what I was craving.
More specifically, a nice savory crepe with egg, ham and cheese.
And some fresh squeezed OJ.
Ah, hit the spot!
The Champs Élysées was just a short walk back over the bridge and there in the distance was my next stop – the Arc de Triomphe.
If you ever want to be surrounded by tourists, head to the Champs Élysées. The street is lined with high end stores and crowds and crowds of people walking up and down the sidewalks.
I just burrowed past all the people, ignoring all the stores lining the street keeping my eye on the prize.
A half hour walk later and I was at the Arc de Triomphe.
The Arc sits smack dab in the middle of a roundabout in the middle of the street.
Honestly, the line to get in wasn’t even that bad considering it was a Sunday afternoon. After about 5 minutes I was heading up to the top.
Now, where is that elevator?
Oh, yeah, no elevator – you gotta get your ass up this narrow spiraling staircase.
Totally worth it though as you stand atop the street looking down at the different neighborhoods down below with the Eiffel Tower standing tall off into the distance.
And that’s it.
A little down below, a little up above.
Tomorrow will be a long day as I am taking a day trip to Mont Saint Michel in Normany about 4 hours north of here.