Still undecided about my itinerary, I felt it would be good to take in the essence of Paris through a leisurely walk along Champs Elyses, where the elegance and glamour of Parisians would be in full display. I was not disappointed.
As I walked towards the Arc de Triomphe, I began to notice a curious phenomenon. Tourists would flock to the middle of the wide road, position themselves comfortably for a good shot with the Arc de Triomphe in the background, and click away while heavy traffic passed by in both directions. One such group was in the middle of a happy-family-in-Paris shot when a police car stopped next to them. To my surprise, the group stood firm on their ground; some within the group negotiated with the police officers and others continued smiling at the camera.
Street-side cafes on both sides of the road were overflowing with tourists; at one place even pigeons were competing for a table in the sun.
These curiosities aside, there wasn’t much I could do here; I wasn’t carrying any shopping list. After walking for a while I stepped in for lunch into a chinese restaurant in one of the less-crowded side-streets.