BITS and Pieces

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Paris

Travelling to many is synonymous to breathing. ‘Earning enough to be able to travel often’ has become a mantra for many today. And, why shouldn’t it be? A change of place is often enough to discover the unexplored areas of your mind. To untie the knots of ifs and buts and knot them with threads of confidence and optimism! So when a travel opportunity knocked on my door, I couldn’t think of any better response, other than (swaying-dreaming-hoping-believing-calming down my nerves-coming back to reality and saying) YES!(in a composed tone, mind you).

Bags packed. All electronic gadgets in place. Itinerary chalked out. Passport and boarding pass in hand. I was about to embark on a trip with my work family! Lo and behold, BITS organised India’s first ever study tour for professional translators to Paris!

We set on a journey to unravel the mysteries of translation on the very streets of Paris! Like detectives armed with a magnifying glass, we scrutinised and decoded layers of nuances that the language has to offer! While we were on it, we covered the length and breadth of Paris and surrendered our hearts to the city!

In a city as rich and old as Paris, If I were to name one place that bedazzled me and left me with the urge of rushing to a library and reading up on it, it would definitely be – Arc de Triomphe.

How do I get there?

Metro Lines 1,2 and 6 to ‘Charles de Gaulle-Etoile’ station.

RER Line A to ‘Charles de Gaulle-Etoile’ station.

What’s the brouhaha all about?

The magnificent arch sits in a circular plaza called Place Charles de Gaulle (still referred to by its former name, Place de l’Etoile), opening out to twelve avenues – giving it a shape of a star (Etoile). The monument was inspired from the Arch de Titus built in 1st century A.D. and was originally commissioned by Napoleon to exalt the victories of the Grande Armée! After his Austerlitz victory in 1805, he had told his soldiers that they would return home through the Archs of Triumph…

Tell me more!

On the occasion of the second anniversary of the Armistice day (November 11) and fiftieth of the Republic in 1920, the Left wing party wanted to glorify Leon Gambetta, a republican hero and a founding father of the third Republic, by placing the urn with his heart at the Pantheon. But the right wing rose to its defence and wanted to honour the common soldier there. To avoid open confrontation between the two parties, President Alexandre Millerand offered a solution; on the day of the anniversary, a solemn procession took place with the coffin of the Unknown soldier. It made a symbolic stop at the Pantheon where the urn with the heart of Gambetta was placed before proceeding to the Arc de Triomphe that became a symbolic place to publicly express grief over the lives lost in the idiocy of the Great World War.

You will notice an eternal flame flickering under the Arch in remembrance of the soldiers who lost their lives to war.

What about the budget?

Current entry fee:

For adults: €8

For students (18 to 25 years): €5

For children below 17 years: Free

You could also consider buying the Paris Museum Pass which would help you skip the long queues not only at the Arc du Triomphe but also at most of the other infamous museums of Paris.

Do not miss!

Climb about 284 steps to get to the roof of the Arch. Preferably, go during twilight. You will get a breathtaking panoramic view of the city in all its splendour! If you’re lucky, you will also get to see the Eiffel tower adorn its sparkling evening gown and leave you awe-struck for the rest of your stay in Paris!

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Aditi Shridhar - French-English Translator, BITS Private Limited Aditi would rather bask in some trivial joys of the day than let some euphoric moment define her happiness. As a student, she enjoyed coding for hours but that didn’t help satiate her quest for personal growth. She inadvertently entered the world of languages, only to discover her source of happiness there! Having sown the seeds of life in a new city, she is now nurturing it by exploring the city, meeting new people, cultivating new beliefs and lastly, creating a home outside of home!