Today is official birthday of Arc de Triomphe. It was inaugurated on 29th July in 1836. It was commissioned in 1806 by Napoleon as a monument in the memories of French revolution and Napoleonic wars.According to Wikipedia entry :”The Arc de Triomphe honours those who fought and died for France in the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars, with the names of all French victories and generals inscribed on its inner and outer surfaces. Beneath its vault lies the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier from World War I.”
My visit to this magnificent monument was very eventful. It came at the end of a long day in Paris. I met Prof. Pierre Lena in the morning at National Academy of Sciences housed in one of the old palaces which was extremely overwhelming. After that we went to Louvre museum and spent long hours walking through fantastic art works of different eras in multiple wings and galleries.
When we came out of Louvre we were absolutely fatigued and decided to rest on the great lawns of Tuileries garden. As we walked around and found a spot to rest, I glanced west ward. I saw this great arc down the road and it didn’t seem quite far. Though our maps said it was far, my fatigued spirited mind said – we could end the great day at Arc de Triomphe! It would be a perfect befitting ending…
We walked and walked and walked. We found way to get out of the long sprawling Tuileries garden and then crossed Cleopatra’s needle. Just when we were about to hit the well known Champs Elysees we saw two crepe kiosks. Famished, we had to regain our strength to walk the rest stretch.We did make it just before sunset.
We saw Arc de Triomphe basking in the backlight, in golden hour and then from the top we had fantastic view of the sunset!!
I never knew I had such tremendous stamina! Was it was sheer adrenaline or dopamine (I love Paris)- I am not sure!! The absolute muscle fatigue seemed very welcome. I felt alive and very happy.
I had made the trip to France with my son when no one including myself believed I could one day!
Here are few clicks of the day. My best day of triumph in my entire insignificant life I guess!!