Two hours later, we’re riding the metro—the easy-to-use Paris subway—to Place Charles de Gaulle Étoile to start our exploration of Canadian World War I heroes by finding the links at the iconic Arc de Triomphe, the broad arch crowning the west end of the Champ-Élysées. Erected by Napoléon in 1806 to celebrate France’s military power, it’s sobering today to stand by the famous landmark and to see the names of war dead inscribed in the monument. And inspiring. We climb 284 steps up a narrow, spiral staircase (you feel it in your legs) to panoramic Paris views from the rooftop. At the monument’s base, we stand and reflect at the eternal flame, poignantly standing vigil over the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, remembering those lives lost from 1914-18 in the Great War. After a stroll on Champ-Élysées, day one ends with a nightcap back at Le FIAP—a glass of rosé from the on-site restaurant sipped in a warm breeze by a rose bush at the backyard courtyard picnic table.
Leah’s journal : I arrived by plane and grabbed a cab. To my surprise, the cabs come super-fast here. Then we arrived at a place called Fiap and I had one of the coolest lobbies ever. Later we took the metro to Arc de Triomphe. We climbed 400 steps to reach the top and girllllll it was worth every step. You could see all the buildings and best of all the Eiffel Tower ♥ It was AWESOME. Then we went down the steps and took some great photos.