Our flight wasn’t scheduled to leave until the late afternoon. So, we had a bit of extra time in the morning. We started out at the Trocadéro by the Eiffel Tower and then took the RER over to the Pont Alexandre III. We walked around the area a bit before heading to a Boulangerie for an early lunch to end our trip.
The Trocadéro is on the opposite side of the Seine from the Eiffel Tower. It often shows up in movies and on TV whenever there is an Eiffel Tower scene. We took the Metro to the Trocadéro station, transferring once at Charles de Gaulle – Étoile on the way.
The weather wasn’t great. It was dark and cloudy and cool. It seemed like it could rain at any time. We exited the station by the Place du Trocadéro, near this equestrian statue of Foch, a French general and commander of allied forces during World War I.
The Trocadéro is flanked on both sides by the Palais de Chaillot. The end of the southwestern building is pictured here. The buildings incorporate portions of the former Palais du Trocadéro, originally built for the 1878 World’s Fair.
It was around 8am, still early in the morning as far as tourist activities go. There were only a few people around. There is a YouTuber or TikToker or something like that on the left. He is wearing what seems to be a pink balaclava while holding what appear to be juggling balls. A women is recording a very close video of him. We only noticed this while editing this photo.
We walked to the southeastern edge of the plaza, facing the Eiffel Tower! A beautiful view, though a bit marred with graffiti on the wall.
Moving up to the wall, we saw a construction site below us! It turns out that the Jardins du Trocadéro, the area below the plaza, is being renovated. We failed to notice this while at the Eiffel Tower on our second day. Interestingly, the fountains were on during our visit so they are apparently operated on a schedule. A schedule that does not include 8am!
Looking back at the southwestern half of the Palais de Chaillot before proceeding downwards.
We headed down one level, avoiding some wedding photographers who were busy taking pictures.
We thought this sculpture depicts a bull’s head next to a calf. But, it is actually titled “Bull and Deer.”
This seems like it belongs on a building somewhere. There are two of them on opposite sides of the long fountain basin. Wikipedia describes them as1:
two matching stone groups on pedestals towards the southeastern end of the fountain, La Joie de vivre, by Léon-Ernest Drivier and Youth by Pierre Poisson.
We crossed the Seine via the southwestern side of the Pont d’Iéna. The bridge visible in the distance carries Metro line 6. We’ve crossed the Seine a few times via this route during this trip.
After reaching the opposite bank of the Seine, we walked to the southwest towards the RER station.
A narrow park with a wide pedestrian path runs between the road and the Seine. We had a nice view of the Eiffel Tower from here.
The opposite bank of the Seine. The views must be fantastic from the upper floors of those buildings on the other side!
One last look at the Eiffel Tower before leaving the park and entering the Champ de Mars Tour Eiffel RER station on the other side of the road.
Pont Alexandre III
We took the RER C line to the Invalides station, on the southern end of the Pont Alexandre III.
We could see the Hôtel des Invalides at the far end of the Esplanade des Invalides. The hôtel was built by Louis XIV as a hospital and home for disabled war veterans. It currently houses a number of museums as well as Napoleon’s tomb. There seems to be quite a bit to see here but we didn’t have time on this trip.
We headed north to the Pont Alexandre III. This bridge was named in honor of Tsar Alexander III of Russia. France and Russia had just signed the Franco-Russian Alliance, one of the alliances that helped to increase the scope of World War I.
This bridge is, by far, the most ornate bridge in all of Paris.
We passed under this bridge on our second day in Paris while taking a river sightseeing cruise.
Just in case you forgot what bridge you’re on!
We found four different designs on the smaller lampposts on the bridge.
The big sculpture at the middle of the bridge, viewed from the side.
The same sculpture from behind. It seems like there should be some words written on it but there are not.
There are four large pillars at the four corners of the bridge. This is the one at the northwest corner with the Eiffel Tower in the background.
A sculpture at the base of one of the pillars.
The text is different from the one at the opposite end of the bridge.
This statue of Simon Bolivar is just northeast of the bridge. He apparently spent some time in Paris and attended Napoleon’s coronation. After reaching this statue, we started walking to the east.
The Eiffel Tower lined up with the sculpture at the middle of the bridge. This is the same one we photographed while on the bridge.
This seems to be the two spires of the Basilica of Saint Clotilde.
We photographed two of the golden sculptures atop the Pont Alexandre III’s pillars using our telephoto lens.
These tiles on the ground briefly caught our attention. Was this entire area previously tiled?
The Grand Palais, just to the northwest of the bridge, has some big sculptures as well. They feature chariots trampling over some unfortunate people.
Another statue at the base of a pillar, this time with part of the Eiffel Tower in the background.
Another of the golden statues, from two slightly different angles.
And the final statue from directly in front.
A telephoto view of the Hôtel des Invalides to the south of the bridge.
The French flag flying atop the Grand Palais.
More sculptures, both atop the Grand Palais.
We came across Sir Winston Churchill.
We continued to walk to the north, approaching the Petit Palais on our right. It is definitely smaller than the Grand Palais on the opposite side of the street.
Still, the Petit Palais has quite a grand entrance. Good enough for wedding photography!
The Grand Palais was being renovated.
We continued walking, coming across Clemenceau, Prime Minister of France at the end of World War I.
From here, we took Metro line 1 to Charles de Gaulle – Étoile, by the Arch de Triomphe, to get an early light lunch. We decided to head to a nearby boulangerie. It turned out to be closed, or possibly out of business. We walked to a second one that seemed promising on Google Maps. It turns out that it was probably a former boulangerie that was purchased and rebranded with reviews that weren’t as good.
We walked a bit more and finally ended up at Liberté, which seemed to be as good as it looked online!
Everything we got here was good! We at them outside on a table that was mostly in the middle of a small road.
And, that is the end of our trip to Paris! We walked back to the Le Méridien Etoile as it didn’t make much sense to take the metro from where we were. And, we got to walk through an area that we hadn’t seen before.
Our trip back home was uneventful. We checked out and took the RER to CDG, transferring once on the way. Every line we encountered was minimal, from check-in to security to exit control.
The food in the Star Alliance Lounge was better than expected, though expectations were pretty low given that this is not one of those airport lounges that people are excited about.
We even got to see beautiful sunset before landing!
- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jardins_du_Trocad%C3%A9ro#Statuary ↩︎