This morning was the start of my tour of various neighborhoods of Paris. I had completed my museums and historical trips, now I was looking to get to know the town. On the extreme west side of Paris is the ‘neauveau’ Paris area called La Defense. It has a giant arch that is on the line of the Champs Elysee so you can look through the Grand Arch to see the Arch de Triomph and the Obelisk at Place de Concorde. This has almost all of the high rise buildings in Paris. It also appears to be the ‘high-tech’ area of Paris. Coming out of the Metro I see ads for Cisco and placards announcing WiFi access everywhere.
From La Defense I went back to the Champs Elysee and grabbed breakfast while watching the rain that had started to fall. From Champs Elysee, I walked past the Place Elysee (the President’s Mansion) over to Madeline and Opera with some window shopping along the way. I might have considered buying something but I didn’t see a price tag under 1000 Euro. After working my way back past my hotel, I worked down to the Louvre and walked the Tuileries Gardens that stretches from the Louvre and Place de Concorde.
On to a little more shopping with a stop at WH Smith on Rue de Rivoli to pick up a few reading items for the trip home. Yes, my brain is starting to think about the 21 hour trip home that will start on Wednesday morning.
After again working my way back from the hotel to drop off my purchases, I took the train to the opposite side of town to the Montparnasse district. This has two noteable features. The Montparnasse Cemetery has the grave of the philosopher J-P Sartre and Andre Dreyfus (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dreyfus_affair ). The other feature of Montparnasse is the only other high rise in Paris. The Tour Montparnasse is the 59 story high rise that is the only one outside the La Defense area.
Tomorrow I think I take a cruise on the Seine a check out a few more neighborhoods. Then it is back to the hotel to stuff my life back in a suitcase and get ready for an early trip to the airport on Wednesday.