French Friday – Arc de Triomphe


Arch de Triomphe Sunlit (Large)
The sun shines through the Arc de Triomphe in this shot I took in Autumn.

Let your goodness pour

Like sunshine through a doorway

making darkness light

Thankfully the French and the majority of international tourists do not care to rise early. This means that should one possess the self discipline to leave one’s hotel before 9.00am in Paris it is quite likely that you may find yourself first in line at the tourist traps and practically alone everywhere else. Aside from this, Paris in the morning light is delightful and the streets generally free from the detritus of the day, still wet from the water that gushes out of the drains to flush them clean.

Therefore we sucked in lungfuls of the deliciously moist Parisian air and set off to climb the Arc de Triomphe. The sun was placed perfectly and lit the arch in a wonderful way. Naturally I took a photo as did Miss H. while Kitty steeled herself to climb the massive edifice. I had unfortunately forgotten that Kitty was prone to claustrophobia and we did have a slight incident halfway up the cramped and vertiginous stairs. Kitty had a panic attack and it was all that Miss H. and I could do to coax her up the remaining flights and not run screaming back down the stairs starting an avalanche of Chinese tourists who had arrived just after us.

Thankfully we reached the top without further incident and marveled at the collection of victory wreaths that adorn the wall of the upper chamber and then popped out onto the roof to enjoy the view.

Inspired by the beautiful harmony and dignity of the city we felt compelled to purchase a small souvenir in the shop below the viewing deck reflective of the taste and high aesthetic ideals we had just witnessed. Consequently, Kitty bought a book entitled “Mr Chicken goes to Paris”, Miss H, a small cardboard replica of the Arc itself, and I a little musical box which played the theme to “Amelie”.

I played this little box all the way down the stairs to the bottom of the tower, enchanted by its winsome simplicity echoing in the stairwell. For some reason or other Kitty and Miss H. did not find the tune as charming and threatened to throw the box off the next tall thing we climbed if I ever played it again.

There is no accounting for the taste of others.

Some facts about the Arc de Triomphe

Napoleon ordered the construction of the Arc de Triomphe in 1806 as monument to his army.

At that time the French army was practically invincible and Napoleon little realised that in 6 years he would be defeated.

The cost of the Arc was 9.3 million Francs and has the names of 128 battles of the first French Republic and France under Napoleon on the arch itself. It was not actually completed until 1836 well after Napoleon’s deaths in 1821 due to its construction being paused from 1814 (Napoleon’s abdication) and 1826.

Do you have anything you love about France to share? Please feel free to link your own French post to this page by adding a link to the comment section (just click on the small black speech bubble to access comments)

Bon weekend mes amis!

Daily Post Weekly photo challenge: Transition


  1. I especially love your haiku, TJ. Here’s a bit of trivia: this year at the National Finals Rodeo, we have a transplanted Frenchman competing in Bareback Riding. He was raised in Paris, happened to see a rodeo in Italy– and it was love at first sight. He moved to the US and became a school teacher to pay the bills–but apparently has rodeo’d sufficiently to qualify for the annual competition for World Champion title. His name is Evan Jayne, and he said he was so proud to carry the French flag in the Grand Entry. It’s a 10-day event, so I’ll let you know how he fares at week’s end.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. How interesting! I will look forward to hearing how he fares. He sounds like a very original person carving a career in an unexpected area. From Paris to the Rodeo – what a romantic tale.


      1. I thought it was unique and quite fascinating, as you say “unexpected and romantic”–And just so you know, one of my very favorite Pro Bull Riders is Ben Jones, Aussie. He is quite a character, dances exuberantly when he makes a qualified ride–all the fans love him! So I’ve got you covered on both fronts–France and Australia 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

          1. Not at all! Aussie Brendan Clark is now an ambassador for the Pro Bull Rider’s “Good Works” program, having retired from actual “riding”; and Ben is just a sweetheart! Australia has hosted at least one World Cup PBR event.

            Liked by 1 person

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