Round and round, we go round another roundabout ….
Arc de Triomphe , Paris
With the sweetness of macaroons ( from Ladurée ) still tingling my tongue ,I continued on with my journey through the ‘Oh-so-amazing !’ Champs-Elysées and reached Arc De Triomphe a.k.a Bombay’s Gateway of India or even better, Delhi’s India Gate .Just that this was a French version of the same monument 🙂 Okay fine, with all respect and giving AOT its due credit , this is the only monument in Paris that gives Eiffel Tower a run for its money.Everyone who goes to see ET visits AOT ,giving AOT its fair share of glory 🙂 Reason ? It’s historical significance.It honors those who fought and died for France in the French Revolutionary and the Napoleonic Wars, with the names of all French victories and generals inscribed on its inner and outer surfaces.Told ya …Ditto , India Gate :P.
So here I was standing in front of this super famous monument wanting to go close to take a self-guided audio tour ,learn more about its historical value and more importantly take a few selfies and put them on instagram but then a question dawned upon me which maxed out my grey cells.The question was,”How do I cross this damn road and get to the other side?”
For those who do not know ,the roundabout surrounding AOT is the world’s craziest.I’m not kidding ! With traffic from 12 major avenues feeding into it, there is a strict ‘never-to-ever-dare-cross-this-one’ policy slapped onto it 🙂 The roundabout is 10 lanes wide but unlike the roads, roundabouts in Paris have no lane markings making this a fantastic entertainment opportunity.One can spend hours just standing on the side of the road watching the traffic negotiate.The rule for use of these roundabouts is that under no circumstances should you use your indicator to show people what your intentions are. Instead, weave in and out of the ‘lanes’ in a random fashion, and then cut off several lanes of traffic when you reach your exit.Simple ! Now , go figure ! So , there I was figuring out how to cross the road making a few bold attempts but kept zipping in and out .After half an hour or so when I realized I wasn’t making much of a progress ,I spotted a European couple , most definitely not French ,struggling with the same ordeal,I decided to just do as they intended to do .So , I stood there waiting for them to figure and just ‘cut copy paste’ their strategy.I saw them looking for what seemed like a subway and I just put my Sherlock Holmes hat on , carefully placed myself 10 steps behind them and continued with my stalking plan.One step at a time .Only if I had a newspaper , a top hat and an overcoat , would I have really lived the moment but this was fair to start with.Within minutes of my chase , I was there , right in the middle of the road under the Arc’s canopy ! Neat ! Only if they had put more sign boards or let’s say only if people like me would learn how to read sign boards ;), would it have made my life a little simpler 🙂
Anyhoo, so yeah ! Arc de Triomphe , pretty impressive stuff I would say.