when the day to depart came, i couldn't believe it was time to fly halfway across the world! before we arrived in rome we had an 8 hour layover in paris where we were to go exploring!
the major thing we were going to see on this brief stop was the arc de triomphe. the arc was incredible!
a few facts about arc de triomphe
in 1806, napoleon 1 declared to his soldiers, "you will march home through arches of victory."
napoleon wanted the arch to to be on the site of the bastille to the east of paris, the side from which his armies would return from the war.
it took 30 years to build, making it completed in 1836.
we then hiked to the top of the arc. this was just the beginning of stair climbing on this trip. so. many. stairs!!
the statue was at the top floor and that is exactly how i felt from after climbing., but as always the view at the top is always so incredibly rewarding.
at the top we also found elder missionaries from our church! the one on the left was from utah and the one on the right was from hawaii. when we found them you would of thought we saw someone famous, that's how excited we were to see them.
once we left the arc we were free to do what ever we liked. first on the list was finding food! we walked around for a while until we found this little cafe outside. sadly, i do not have what my friend marissa and i ate because i think she has it on her camera (we shared the lunch). but let me paint you a little picture...a baguette split in half, with a slice of ham and maybe cheese and that was it. and then we order water, i don't know why because i'm pretty sure we had our water bottles filled. rookie mistake. we quickly learned not to ever do that again! the water was so expensive and it was the sparkling water. so so so gross. blah.
after we had walked around for a while i wasn't overly impressed with paris. it just didn't wow me like i thought it would. but i also here the exact same thing from other people about paris too. towards the end of the trip we would be coming back to paris for a couple of days and wanted to see if my opinion would change. but until then.
after our six our little excursion in paris we had to head back to the airport to board another plane and head over to rome!