I journeyed to an area in Paris few visitors see. It is Monday in Paris which means many places are closed like markets and some museums. The museums that are open are probably crazy busy, so I wanted to escape the crowds and visit the modern city. I knew there was a Grande Arche and an esplanade, but I had no idea how much there was to see and do there.
First, the arch is HUGE! Notre Dame could fit under it. I’m sure there are sights you can see inside, but I stuck with an exterior perspective. If you look far into the distance, you can see another famous arch: the Arc de Triomphe. Some think that the arches line up, but not quite.
Walking down from the arch you see sculpture, skyscrapers, and green space. The area is broken into areas given different names. Some areas include Iris, Bellini, and Vosges. I spent a little time in Alsace since that is a place I want to visit someday. That was my only logic for picking the area. I don’t think I even fully explored the entire space. There is so much to see and do that you can easily fill a day in this area if you’ve spent a fair amount of time seeing all of the other musts.
If you need to get your shopping bug cured, there is a mall with more than 250 stores. Feeling up for a movie? There is also a cinema and many restaurants. This is where I stopped for lunch to fill my Italian craving. I met an older businessman from Holland that spoke English well (I originally wrote spoke good English and then realized I should probably use proper English myself). Tables in France are so close we basically were sitting together, so why not have a little conversation.
Something possessed me to think it would be a good idea to walk back from the Grand Arch to the Marais where I am staying. That is over a 10k walk after all of the other walking I did (which probably over 15k all together). There was a 10k run yesterday, and I was thinking I’d like to get some exercise and do a 10k walk. Well, I did it. Seeing major landmarks along the way provides motivation. On my way home I passed the Arc de Triomphe, Concorde, Tuileries, Louvre, and Hotel de Ville. I passed a lot of other places, but I’m not exactly sure what some of them were. Let’s just say that putting my feet up feels pretty good right now.
So, if you are a seasoned Paris visitor, or have plenty of time to explore, it may be time you finally made it out to this other Paris. It is an easy metro ride and worth viewing to gain perspective on the modern, business world of the city. If you are coming in 2020, there will be a major exposition it seems. If you plan your travels that far in advance.
Have you been? What were your thoughts?