France Day 18 A walk on Champs Élysées


Laurie and I stood in line and got tickets for Handel’s opera Guilio Caesare, and then walked the Champs Élysées for our 31st wedding anniversary. Our walk was from the Opera down one side of Champs Élysées to the Arc de Triomphe, a loop around the Arc, a shot of the CBD, the a walk up the other side of the Champs Élysées through the Jardin des Tuileries and the Louvre and back home. Along the way we saw the latest Renault Dezir on a showroom floor, and an old Citroën 2CV driving by. On the way to the Arc de Triomphe the sidewalk was covered with people as far was you could see, and the Champs Élysées had a constant flow of bumper to bumper traffic. The many cafes and restaurants lining the sidewalks were full of people and there was a mix of tourists gawking, street venders hawking, and well dressed business men and women making their way through the hustle and bustle.

Bathroom stops are quite interesting — you have to pay to pee in Paris, and you certainly can’t pee in peace, because there is always a woman in the men’s side cleaning. We stopped at the restroom at the entrance to the Jardin des Tuileries, and there was quite a line. There were several attendants keeping order on letting people in and out of the bathrooms. I got waved through, payed my 50 cents, and was standing at the urinal when I heard “Pardon!” in a female voice and felt a nudge against my shoulder. The cleaning woman was mopping making me and the guy next to me step over and around the mop while we were trying to pee. When there is a constant stream of people, she just cleans around them.

We got back to the apartment from our walk around 7:00 pm, then we went out to the Monoprix (a French Corte Inglés) and got food. Laurie made a pizza with bread, lardon (a cross between bacon, ham and salt pork), creme fraiche, eggplant and a medium aged Cantal cheese for dinner that was really good. You can see the outside of our apartment on the building in the last photo. The tiny window in the roof  is the kitchen and the main room looks out the gabled windows on either side.