Paris is a beautiful city with a great deal of wonderful sights to see. However, due to the Bastille Day festivities, many were fenced off or had fences around them that spoiled photographs. Also, the unusually hot humid weather made venturing out a chore. It seems a month-long stay in Pairs would be necessary to see the public fountains and sights in the right light.
Photos here are of the ‘Three Graces’ in the Louvre looking at an adjacent painting and the winding staircase leading to the Versailles royal library where I got a rare, private tour.
The French really know how to make a mundane object like a bridge look fantastic, such as the Pont Alexandre. At the base of this bridge and all along the Seine River it is a non-stop party and picnic in the late afternoon and into the evening. Locals and tourists alike pile onto the cement embankments to see and be seen. A photo of the scene along the Seine can be viewed in the slide-show below. Another great hang-out is at the base of the Eiffel Tower in the evening, waiting for the lights to come on. After dark, each hour until midnight, many thousands of tiny light twinkle come on for five minutes. Local entrepreneurs anxiously try to sell you ‘cold’ beer or champagne.
Paris is similar to Rome in that it is hard to find a non-touristy restaurant. With so many tourist draws spread throughout the city, it seems all restaurants are just around the corner from some tourist attraction. It is a huge myth that the French serve small portions. Even in less touristy cities, in a non-tourist restaurant, the portions were large! Also, France is the only country we visited where numerous restaurateurs made zero attempt to communicate in English. Not even a ‘yes’, ‘no’ or ‘hello’. It was 100% French for them.
There are seven photos in the slide show, not necessarily in this order….
1) A gargoyle at the top of Notre Dame Cathedral. This required a climb of 387 narrow winding stairs.
2) One of several huge clocks inside the Musée d’Orsay, which is a wonderful museum inside a renovated train station.
3) Famous Maxim’s restaurant where during the Paris famine in late 1870 caused by the German blockade, much of the Paris zoo was prepared and consumed including elephants and hippopotamus.
4) Pont Alexandre Bridge, taken from a water taxi.
5) The party scene along the Seine River.
6) A view of the rare collection of 100,000 books which belonged to French kings and queens from the 15th century
7) Stairs exiting the Louvre Museum