A visit to Paris without visiting the Tour Eiffel (no matter how many times I’ve been) is like going to a dinner party without saying hello to the host. The Eiffel is emblematic of Paris – every post card and every travel show of Paris includes at the very least a silhouette of the Eiffel towering in the distance. The Eiffel IS Paris.
Viv and I had a lot of fun in the Eiffel gardens of Champs de Mars, but evidence of our camera-whoreness will only be limited to a few pictures here. We’re not THAT full of ourselves… lols
We meandered through the park, evaded all the salesmen, and crossed the Seine toward the Trocadéro for more beautiful Parisian scenery. It was a gorgeous day and the flowers were in bloom.
Several roads spiral out from the Trocadéro [M], and a few of them even run right into the Arc de Triomphe (we will return to the Arc shortly). We circled the busy roundabout and made way down the Champs-Élysées for window shopping and French eats. On Viv’s recommendation, we stopped at Léon de Bruxelles, a large French seafood chain.
Léon de Bruxelles
There are several locations peppered throughout the city. As it is a chain, the menu doesn’t change location to location. Léon de Bruxelles is known for its mussels (les moules), served in large ironware with crusty bread to dip and bowl of frites on the side. Sauces vary from the typical tangy Dijon sauce to Provençale to cheesy Roquefort or even Madras Curry. We only tried the Provençale style mussels – the broth was tomato/wine based and strongly flavored with olives. The sauce was good, but not extraordinary, and didn’t really satisfy my seafood craving. Our side dishes included a (not delicious) shrimp croquette over roughly thrown together lettuce and quick Dijon vinaigrette and fries. This meal is nothing to write home about, though I think I might attempt some of their sauce variations at home at some point.
We continued along the Avenue des Champs-Élysées and found ourselves right in the center of the Concorde, face to face with the Luxor Obelisk and the Fountains of River Commerce and Navigation.
We were able to catch the setting sun from the Concorde, and the beautiful shadows of the Eiffel in the distance. Night time on the Avenue is gorgeous.
We end our day catching a late meal on Rue Montorgueil at a local Italian restaurant, and watch as the other Parisians unwind after a long day.