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Monumental Monuments

by Abby

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View Koning/Zemliak Family Europe 2012/2013 on KZFamily's travel map.

Paris: Eiffel Tower

Paris: Eiffel Tower

Today we all awoke from our short and frequently disrupted slumbers, barely ready to start off another day. But after my mother cooked me some eggs, all was well ... for me at least. But by the time we were all out the door we were all ready to start the day. We had planned to go to the outdoor market and shop for dinner at the beginning of the day, a huge change in our usual routine, but we were up for the challenge. Then we were scheduled to go back to the apartment, distribute our goods among the fridge and cupboards, and be off to the depths of the city. We soon found out that these plans were not meant to be and sadly had to shop at a regular grocery store after finding that there was no market that day, despite what we had been told about the market being open every day until Sunday. After we went home with our purchases we decided that we should just eat a little bit more and go out later, so that we could avoid buying lunch. So after half an hour of doing nothing we cooked up some tomato soup, cut up a fresh baguette, and stuffed ourselves some more. After the weather we had experienced a mere forty minutes before, three of us decided it was necessary to add an extra layer to ourselves.

Our first stop was the Eiffel Tower, and naturally, I became an obvious tourist (because I blended in so well before) and started going wild with my camera, taking pictures as well as shoving it in other people's hands and posing in front of the massive structure. My first impression was that it was a lot larger than I had thought it would be. Unfortunately, it was foggy and so we were unable to see the top. But we had seen it in the distance and knew what it looked like so we weren't too heartbroken. As we walked around the tower we stumbled upon two rows of colourfully painted bears. There were 140 of these "Buddy Bears" as we later found out they were called, each representing a different country. Canada was covered in squares that were different shades of green, blue and beige. The rest of my family all agreed that it symbolized the "cultural mosaic" of our loving and welcoming homeland. I'm still stuck on the theory of it representing our lucious forests, many warm beaches and glorious skies and waters.

Paris: Canada bear

Paris: Canada bear

After the Eiffel Tower we traipsed around and took even more pictures from far away. Then we walked to another large monument, The Arc de Triomphe. After taking some more pictures, we went down into the earth so that we could tunnel our way to the centre of the arc. Once in the centre, I was once again shocked at how large it was. Then, to our surprise my mother drew a furry, hoodie-clad animal from her backpack ... our mascot! I would tell you the name of this beloved stuffie, but sadly he/she is unnamed. I want to name it Florence (or 'Flo' for short) but some people are against it being a girl. Please leave suggestions below, he/she is a moose incase you were wondering. But anyways, the moose was brought out I instantly asked why it never got a picture with the Eiffel Tower. "I forgot" was the answer she gave me. Unbelievable. But our fuzzy mascot did get a couple pictures with the second monument, but then was harshly shoved back into a bag.

Paris: Arc de Triomphe

Paris: Arc de Triomphe

Once we had our fill of the arc, we started to walk down Champs de Elysee, a street that is full of expensive stores, McDonald's and pigeons. We fit right in among the shoppers that were walking in and out of Lancome and Mont Blanc with their purchased items in little fancy bags. We took a picture of the stairs in Swarovski, which is actually quite common because they are clear and filled with crystals and were quite the sight indeed. One strange thing we did notice though, was that the fanciest resturaunt any of us had ever seen was placed right beside a McDonald's. It was funny seeing the best of the best beside a fast food chain (it was like us in those expensive shops). But we did walk into a couple of stores, despite our lack of fashionable clothes and a stuffed wallet. One store that we all found quite reasonably priced was Swatch, a swiss watch company. But we decided against buying one, and I was fine with this as I was just given a watch as an early birthday present before we left, thanks to my lovely grandparents.

Paris: Crystal on the Champs-Élysées

Paris: Crystal on the Champs-Élysées

But that is about all for our day of sightseeing, as after we finished the street we went to find a metro station to get us back home, as we were all getting quite tired and a little chilly. On the walk from the station to our apartment we passed by a boulangerie (bakery) and decided to buy a little snack. Hannah and I got identical pastries and my dad got a sugar covered sweet. My mom picked up yet another baguette as I inwardly groaned. For me personally, I don't need to have two baguettes a day. In my opinion if we don't stop soon we may get a little tubby around the edges ... just saying. And to continue on the food theme, tonight we look forward to Roast Chicken and Bolognaise flavoured chips (they are two different flavours just to clear things up).

Posted by KZFamily 13:41 Archived in France Tagged paris de arc triomphe champs-elyes

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Abby, you made me laugh out loud a couple of times! I love the theories on the Canada Bear, and my suggestion is Maurice the Moose!

by judy Aalders

These are great! Vicariously enjoying Europe. Finally figured out how to create an account and make comments. Peter says he wants to see a byline at the top of each entry so he knows right away who is writing it.

by adrost

Peter here. The bear looks like it's 8-bit. There's a whale in Vancouver that's sort of similar:

by adrost

Ifo - for the moose, as in I forgot, and in remembrance of the Eiffel Tower. All that walking must be taking care of the pastries, delish!

by Marianne

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