PARIS! Often referred to as “The City of Light” (La Ville Lumière), both because of its leading role during the Age of Enlightenment and more literally because Paris was one of the first European cities to adopt gas street lighting! My wonderful visits to L’arc De Triomphe during my days in magical Paris were unforgettable. One of the most famous monuments in Paris, it stands proud in the centre of the Place Charles de Gaulle at the western end of the Champs-Élysées. This place is NUTS if you are looking to take a motorbike or taxi, get ready to see road rage at its finest :). Being from Los Angeles aka crazy ass drivers city numero uno…I figured traffic and driving stories I’ve been told about Paris were exaggerated…Yea defo wrong about that. I was so afraid to post in front of the Arc for a photo (almost got hit by 4 cars!) Although I look calm & collected, I was scared shit less haha. I get it as a local Parisian it’s annoying for tourists to pose cheesing on vacation, while you are trying to get to your 9-5 frozen in the middle of the French winter…I’m pretty sure some of the cars swerving my direction were purely for their own entertainment to see my “please don’t kill me” face flinch! It’s all good… travelers do what they got to do to get that sweet shot during their travels, it comes with the territory!
The construction of the Arc de Triomphe in Paris was ordered in 1806 by Napoleon, the French Emperor who wanted to honor the French Grande Armee, who had conquered most of Europe & was then considered invincible. After his Austerlitz victory in 1805, Napoleon said to his soldiers: “You will return home through archs of triumph”. The Arc costed 9.3 million French francs, a gigantic amount of money at that time. Sadly, the tiny man with a plan Napoleon never got to see the finished product. The construction of Arc wasn’t complete until 1836, 15 years after his death. What a bummer for him!
Funny fact: Before it was the Arc de Triomphe, the space there was almost dedicated to a giant three-level, elephant-shaped building that would be entered via a spiral staircase that led up into a conference room in the elephant’s gut & trunk!