On Easter Sunday, I quietly walked on the little known streets of Paris. The streets were devoid of hustle and bustle like the major tourist traps. I chose to get down at Metro Champs-Elysees Clemenceau and walk towards the north side of Avenue des Champs Elysees. The walk ended at Metro Ternes. In the 2 hours of leisurely stroll, I saw the residence of the French president, 3 museums, 2 churches and a park. I also saw a house built in the Chinese style with pagodas. Being the only house with a different architecture than the neighbors, this Chinese styled house stood out.
To the north of Metro Champs-Elysees Clemenceau is the Theater Marigny. Had the travel guide not mentioned this, I would have ignored this building. It is hidden among trees. The significance for an uninformed traveler would be the benches in front of the theater. They can always rest here. Further north, to the theater, is Palais de l’Elysee, the residence of the French president. There are guards in blue uniforms at various places around this palace. The guards do not allow you to walk on the footpath close to the palace. They also cleverly and leisurely step outside your way when you are photographing the palace except for the guards at the front of the palace.
Close to this palace, there are two other buildings of importance – the building housing the Ministry of Interior and Hotel Bristol. Even though you cannot see inside of the Ministry of Interior, this building will interest the World War II aficionados. This building served as the Gestapo headquarters during the war.Hotel Bristol is where diplomats and dignitaries stay during visits. It makes sense because it is close to the president’s palace. The street, on which this hotel is located, is lined with Mercs, BMWs and Range Rovers.
Further up, there were three museums. Out of the three museums, Musee Jacquemart-Andre had a long line of visitors in front of it. The other two museums – Musee Cernuschi and Musee Nissim de Camondo - were open but not crowded in front. There were also two churches - St Philippe-du-Roule and Cathedral St Alexandre Nevsky. The latter proved crowded and also pleasing to the eyes. Facing the latter church was a Russian restaurant. The smell originating from the restaurant made me hungry.
The walk also led me into Parc de Monceau. Being a sunny day, the park was crowded. There were a lot of people running in the park; kicking up dust. Then there were people sleeping on the grass, picnickers with food spread out in front of them and couples practicing Tai-Chi, yoga or stretching. When you exit the Park through the Avenue Van Dyck, Arc de Triomphe is directly in your line of vision.
The walk ended at Ternes. At Ternes, there were flower shops and cafes.