Wandering around the centre of Paris
Paris, France - Wednesday, October 27, 2010 by: Michael Townsend

Today I had no particular destination in mind. Just wander the streets of Paris. 

Champs Elysees and the Arc de Triumph of course are a must when one comes to Paris, so maybe I did have something in mind when I set out this morning.

I tried but failed to imagine the Germans marching down
The Champs Elysees and through the Arc de Triumph when they formally entered Paris after the French surrendered during WWII. It was not a proud moment for the French. With all the beauty of Paris, I recall from a history lecture that at one point during the war, with the allies in the process of liberating France, Hitler ordered Paris destroyed. The military planted charges throughout the city, at all the prominent landmarks, many of which are included in these pictures. But when the order came, the German Generals refused to carry out the order. When Hitler asked, "Is Paris Burning?" they told him it was. France and Europe in general would have been a very different place had that order been carried out.

Near the end of this set of pictures are two photos of a smaller building with a green roof flying the French flag. The Americans based construction of the
White House in Washington on this building. Of course this one is much smaller, the White House being about six or seven times larger, but the similarities are definitely there. 

It was a terrific day, but I am learning I have about four hours max to stroll before the knee and body in general give out for the day. Maybe I have to learn to stop more often.

I had a great Hot Dog for just two euros. They use a french loaf, poke a hole in the centre of it, heat it and then put some hot mustard in the hole and insert the dog. Delicious! Later on stopped for a coffee at trendy place and paid almost ten euros for it. It was an excellent coffee but wow, a little pricey.

Au revoir.


Editor’s note: Mike’s pictures of the central part of Paris were taken during the middle of the day on October 10.