May 1 - Rue Cler - Champs Élysées
We found a new way to celebrate May Day. Clean clothes before breakfast. The neighborhood laundromat was up the street about a block away. We started the wash and went back to the hotel for breakfast. By the time we finished eating the wash was done. Three cycles of drying finished our laundry urge before moving on to our next destination.
After taking our clean clothes back to the hotel, we decided to take Rick Steves suggestion and walk along Rue Cler so that we could experience a real Paris neighborhood in action in the morning. We could see and walk into cafés, butcher shops, bakeries, cheese shops, flower shops, fruit and vegetable stands and more. Here are some photos:
The weather was behaving itself so we took the Metro over to the Arc de Tromphe expecting to use our museum pass to climb up to the observation tower and see the view of the city. First we had to find the way to get to the monument. It is situated in the center of a very busy traffic circle and it would be suicide to cross it. We eventually found the underground passage and popped up under the arch. We saw the tomb of the unknown solder but no open entry for the climb. Being May Day, the climb to the arch and many other attractions were closed. That did not daunt us. We crossed back under the traffic circle and strolled down the Champs Élysées. A lot of others were also doing the stroll and it was perfect for people watching.
Half way down the avenue, we detoured to the left into a park that parallels the avenue. It was more quiet and easier on the feet. We continued until we reached the entrance to the Tuileries Garden where we needed some nourishment. We both bought a crepe at a stand. It was now raining and it looked like it was getting worse. So we ducked into a Metro station and rode back to our hotel.
I had our dinner restaurant picked out and even tried to make an online reservation. I received no confirmation, so we decided to walk over to it. It started raining steadily and I got a little confused with the directions. We were steered into a very small Italian restaurant that was also on Rick Steves list. We didn't know it but it was across the street from the restaurant that we wanted. So our meal was OK but it was not what we expected. My pasta and Ann's soup and salad were decent and the price was low, so I am not complaining. When we finished, we walked over to our intended restaurant and told the owner that we would be there tomorrow.