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Feb 8, 2013

Paris: Notre Dame & the Arc de Triomphe

Annnd back to the Paris recaps I go. Bright and early on Day 2 of our Parisian vacation, we made our way to visit Quasimodo at the famed Cathédrale Notre Dame. Sadly, we didn't run into the hunchback, but we we did stand before one of Paris' iconic landmarks that beckons thousands of visitors each year. The same feelings of awe that washed over me the first time I laid eyes on the Eiffel Tower just 12 short hours before came flooding back to me as I stood below the massive stained glass windows and flying buttresses (my favorite architectural feature, mind you). Paris definitely had more than a few of those "pinch me" moments. In fact, I felt another as we made our way up the Champs Elysées to see the Arc de Triomphe. You wouldn't know it from the photos, but the Champs Elysées is a looonnng stretch of road. It's littered with fabulous luxury shops and cute cafés along the way, but walking it can be a real pain. Especially when you've got tired feet and have been walking your way through multiple arrondissements each day. Really, it's a small price to pay to experience all the wonderful things Paris has to offer. At the eastern end of the Champs Elysées is the Palace de la Concorde, one of the major public squares in Paris. In the middle of this square there is a large obelisk covered in hieroglyphics and gold called the Obelisk of Luxor. This particular artifact used to be located right out side the Luxor Temple in Egypt (which totally blows my mind). If you stand beside the obelisk, you can look all the way down the Champs Elysées and see the Arc de Triomphe commanding the skyline to the west. It makes me feel giddy like a schoolgirl just thinking about the mounds of history between just those two points in Paris. That city is just oozing with stories!

Up until just a few days before leaving for our Parisian adventure, I had no idea you could go up into the body of the Arc de Triomphe. I thought it was just a large arched landmark that had a crazy traffic circle (often dubbed "the circle of death" because there are no marked traffic lanes...it's a driving free for all!) around it. Come to find out there's an entire museum inside...as well as the opportunity for stunning views of Paris from atop its arches. We made our way up to the top that afternoon and I shot some of my most favorite images from our trip there. Oh, to be back in the city of lights!

{Notre Dame}

{Palace de la Concorde & the Luxor Obelisk}

{Champs Elysées & views from the Arc de Triomphe}

Coming soon...our visit and view from the top of the Eiffel Tower!


  1. You are visiting all the places that I hope to see one day. Gorgeous photos.

  2. looking at your pictures puts mine to SHAME. deep shame.

  3. I'm about to make my third visit - can't stand the people but I mean, look how gorgeous it is! And the stories, I love hearing all the stories!

  4. wow gorgeous photos can I ask a question did you book these trips yourself or use a travel agent

  5. That view - from the Arc to the Tower, is my favorite! I have a similar shot from the Tower back towards the Arc, and loved it!

    P.S. - did you notice any of the rooftop gardens while you were on top of the Arc? We thought they were super cute!

  6. love this!! amazing pictures and making me want to go there even more :D

  7. I didn't read the post today as my mind is tired but I did look at all the photos no work for my brain doing that........and wow they are great photos.......

  8. Great photos!! Love the pics from the top of the Arc. I went up but couldn't go to the edge, little afraid of heights.

  9. You are making me very excited!

    We are going next week to Paris :)

  10. These photos are amazing! I would love (and will not die without!) visiting France, and most of Europe, one day. And remember to bring good walking shoes. :)

  11. where in the world do i need to go to get that over the city view with the eiffel tower?? going in march and need to have that view!

  12. You took some fantastic photos!
    Confession: I live in France and I didn't know that there was a museum in the Arc de Triomphe (face meet palm!)

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