Day 8 - 7/17/13 - Bayeux to Paris

You can’t visit Paris and not find the Champs-Élysées. The Champs-Élysées, often referred to as the “most beautiful avenue in the world”, is a famous shopping destination in Paris, France. This 1.9-kilometer-long avenue is known for its luxury shops, cafes, and theaters. It runs from the Place de la Concorde in the east to the Place Charles de Gaulle in the west, where the iconic Arc de Triomphe is located.

We arrived again at the now more familiar Gare Saint Lazare Station and then on to Concorde. Since our primary mode of transportation was public rail and foot power, we headed for the Arc du Triumph and decided to visit the Musee de l’Armee/the Hotel National des Invalides. It spanned the history of France and the Tomb of Napoleon 1.

Designed in 1991, the blue letters set on a white square tile form the text of the Declaration of the Rights of Mann and of the Citizen.

Les Invalides, Military History of France

The sheer size of Les Invalides will put you back on your heels.

Well of course it is gold-plated.

When you look at form and function…well ok, form gets the nod, but they designed for function too!

Louis XIV the “Sun King”, wikipedia. He was the longest-serving monarch in Europe at 72 years and the designer of the Palace of Versailles. He transformed a royal hunting lodge into a grand palace and moved the royal court from Paris to Versailles.


When you focus on the detail, yet look at the sheer number of cannon, it becomes difficult to consider both detail and quantity at the same time.

Even more detail.

The time it takes to carve a statue can vary greatly: A small statue might take a few weeks to a few months, while a large statue could take years. A highly skilled and experienced sculptor can work faster and more efficiently than someone less experienced.

This is not another photo of the last statue, but a unique creation. The attention to detail. I guess they had hundreds of years to relish events of the past, but WOW, the execution!

Each set of dormer windows had fantastic carved themes depending upon the wing. It was a massive museum and we only scratched the surface. The cafeteria alone was huge.

Lunch and Planning Session

Tomb of Napoleon Bonaparte

Napoleon, a man of some part,
In warfare, he sure knew his art.
With his hand in his coat,
He made Europe take note,
But in Russia, he lost his heart.

Napoleon Bonaparte’s invasion of Russia in 1812, known as the French Invasion of Russia or the Russian Campaign, was a turning point in his fortunes and marked the beginning of his downfall.

Napoleon invaded Russia with his Grande Armée, an enormous force of about 600,000 soldiers, with the intention of forcing Tsar Alexander I into submission. However, the Russian strategy of scorched earth (destroying resources to prevent the enemy from using them) and the harsh Russian winter took a heavy toll on the French troops.

As the French advanced, the Russians retreated, drawing them further into Russian territory and away from their supply lines. When the French eventually reached Moscow, they found the city largely abandoned and set on fire by the Russians, leaving little for the French army to salvage.

With winter setting in and his army decimated by cold, starvation, and Russian attacks, Napoleon was forced to retreat. The retreat turned into a disastrous rout, with only a fraction of the original force surviving to return to France.

The failed invasion of Russia significantly weakened Napoleon’s position in Europe and marked a turning point in the Napoleonic Wars. It led to the War of the Sixth Coalition, which resulted in Napoleon’s defeat and exile to Elba in 1814.

More Shopping!

Sacre Coeur and Montmarte

That evening we headed to Montmarte which is currently a night-club district. For dinner and an evening sightseeing walk. At the summit of the butte is Sacre Coeur, The Sacred Heart Basilica.

To get to the top you can walk or take the funicular - which isn’t really a balanced pair of cars anymore. Built originally in 1900, It was renovated in 1932 decoupling the cars into two separate slanted elevators. It received another update in 1991 which is why this historically named funicular looks so very modern.

Here is a fun screen background for your desktop!

The second most popular tourest attraction in Paris!

That evening we headed to Montmarte which is currently a night-club district. For dinner and an evening sightseeing walk. At the summit of the butte is Sacre Coeur, The Sacred Heart Basilica.

During the Belle Epoque near the end of the 19th century, Every famous artist of our time lived and worked in the area. Currently, character artists and fine artists continue to work, draw and paint for hire.


Paris was a blast. If you have been there, please leave a comment below to tell us and others about your experience.

Till tomorrow!