Paris is full of sweeping boulevards and intimate lanes and I plan on having one day of walking the streets and just enjoying the views, the sounds of the city, the chatter of conversation, the beauty of the architecture and the merchandise for sale in the many shops, markets and cafes.

I will start my stroll early – 8:00 a.m. at the entrance to the Grand Boulevard the Arc de Triomphe.  The first challenge is crossing the street of this hugh traffic circle where cars and people seem to be playing a crazy game of chicken.  But once I get through the maze I stand under Europe’s grandest arch and at the top of the ultimate boulevard.  I have 2 scavenger hunt items to achieve here (Future story with scavenger hunt list), one will require that I climb the 284 steps to the top for a once in a lifetime photo op.  But once at the top I have a view of where my stroll will take me, down this grand boulevard ending at the Louvre.  There are 12 boulevards that radiate from the Arc de Triomphe.  A master plan designed to make Paris the grandest city in Europe. 

I leave the Arc to begin my stroll down the Champs-Elysees.  Monumental sidewalks, stylist shops and elegant cafes await me.  I come to the historic square called the place de la Concorde.  This is the country’s ultimate parade ground where major events unfold: the Tour de France finale and New Year’s festivities.  Then the cafe scene begins, between clothing outlets and music stores are some of Paris’ famous cafe’s. One on my list of things to do is Laduree.  www.laduree.com.  Check out this website for some of the most mouthwatering pictures of pastries and desserts.  Sounds like a good place to have breakfast – coffee and a pastry –  (Let’s see if I can keep it to one) and of course people watch.  There are 12,000 cafes in Paris, lots to sample.

As I stroll, you see the French appetite for good living – luxury car dealers, hotels from the 1920’s through 1960, shops, theaters and the cabaret.  As I reach the Rond-Point, the shopping ends and the park begins.  Another traffic circle, but this one is lined with colorful flowers.  Next I come to the statue of General Charles de Gaulle.  From here, it’s a straight shot down the last stretch of the boulevard to the 21 acre square call the place de la Concorde.  It’s centerpiece is the 3,300 year old Obelisk of Luxor.  As I stand in the shadow of the Obelisk and look toward the Tuileries Garden to the Louve.  I think, it’s time to pick up something tasty from a near by cafe and eat my lunch in this park surrounded by years of history before I head through the park for and afternoon at the Louvre.

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