I thought Clark/Nathan and I were going to have the Griswald curse AGAIN on this day. When we got to the train station (it really does all start with the train doesn't it) we had no map of the city (we actually never had one the whole time) and the station we were at had no map of the metro lines (very strange) so we asked a metro employee at the information desk how to get to the Arc de Triomphe. Now I know I don't sound French, but my southern accent isn't so bad that this woman couldn't understand ARC - I mean HELLO - it's really famous! Not sure if she was just being French, but after repeating myself 3 times and then Nathan saying it she was like "Oh de Arc" - take the RER A to La Defense. Okay - that wasn't so hard. Thanks Lady!
Ummmm - except for the fact that when we got out of the metro at La Defense we weren't at the Arc de Triomphe we were at the Grande Arche - Good Times. So just in case you were wondering what the Grande Arche looks like - here it is:
We did think we were on the train for a really long time, but we were enjoying our french pastries and just thought to trust the train employee that was sitting at the INFORMATION DESK:) Once we got back in the metro we found our own map and realized we should have gotten off at Charles de Gaulle Etoile. And what do you know - the Arc de Triomphe!
Next the Louvre! Alison gave us a HUGE tip and I want to pass it on to all of you. First, buy your ticket in advance. We were really fortunate that Alison got ours for us (thank you Alison!), but she said you could buy them at the Paris Tourism Office (near the Opera Garnier). It isn't cheaper, but you get to go through a special security line. We took the metro to the Palais Royal Musee du Louvre stop. Once you get out of the Metro cross the street and you should be at the Passage Richelieu Entrance. There wasn't a SINGLE PERSON in line! It took us .5 seconds to get in! I thought this was just the security line, but no - once we had our bags checked we were inside the Louvre!!! I overheard someone inside complaining about standing in the line out front for over an hour. Priceless information! Thank you Alison!