A Travellerspoint blog

Paris.

In the year 2000.

Looking out of our hotel room. - Paris

Looking out of our hotel room. - Paris

Paris.

I kept nagging my husband about the fact that, although I am very well travelled, I had never actually been to Paris. Now that I am based in Hong Kong that may not seem so strange, but I was brought up in the UK and had been to several other parts of France namely: Cabourg, Dives sur Mer, Bayeux, Boulogne and Strasbourg. In the year 2000 my husband could take no more of my complaints and we finally visited. It was an enjoyable, but not all together successful trip. About half way through our stay as we walked on the banks of the Seine, not far from the Eiffel Tower, a pavement artist called out to my husband to try and coax him into having his sketch done. Looking at the artist and not paying attention to where he was going, my husband fell over and badly damaged his ankle. In my normal horrible, selfish manner, I was just horrified we could not look at things rather than sympathetic. After several, not very romantic fights, my husband agreed to hobble to public transport, be deposited on a bench while I looked at stuff, then hobble back to the hotel. I suppose we should return and do full justice to the city at some point, but we still did manage to do quite a lot. We sailed along the Seine, saw the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame Cathedral, the Sacre Coeur, the Moulin Rouge, the Champs Elysee and Arc de Triomphe, the Louvre, the Luxembourg Gardens, Parc Monceau. Most of these we viewed from the outside as Paris was very busy and neither of us will queue for things. If I return, I will do a more Paris off the beaten track type visit away from the swarms of tourists. This is the style of travel I prefer, especially on a revisit.

Me in our hotel - Paris

Me in our hotel - Paris

The River Seine.

The River Seine flows through the centre of Paris. It is crossed by more than thirty bridges including: the Pont Neuf, the Pont Des Arts and the Pont Louis Philippe. Sometimes the Seine has been known to flood. We used Batobus as a means to get around Paris. It stops at eight different places and is a pleasant means of getting around. It stops at at Port des Champs Elysées, Quai du Louvre, Quai de l'Hôtel de Ville, Port de la Bourdonnais at the foot of the Eiffel Tower, Quai de Solférino near Musee d'Orsay, Quai de Malaquais, Quai de Montebello near Notre Dame Cathedral and Quai SaintBernard. It runs all year. In summer it runs at 20 minute intervals from 10 A.M. to 9.30 P.M. In winter it is at 25 minute intervals and runs from 10A.M. to 7P.M.

Batobus, The River Seine - Paris

Batobus, The River Seine - Paris

The River Seine - Paris

The River Seine - Paris

The River Seine - Paris

The River Seine - Paris

The River Seine - Paris

The River Seine - Paris

Pavement artists, The River Seine - Paris

Pavement artists, The River Seine - Paris

The Eiffel Tower.

This is of course a world famous symbol of Paris. Being very bad people, we did not go up it because that would have involved queuing. The Eiffel Tower is situated on the Champ de Mars. It was designed and built by engineer, Gustave Eiffel in 1889. It was originally the entrance arch to the 1889 World's Fair. The Eiffel Tower is 324m high, still the tallest structure in Paris. At one time it was the tallest man made structure in the world. It held this claim to fame for 41 years until the Chrysler Building in New York City was built in 1930. The Eiffel Tower is the most visited paid monument in the world; see I told you there was a queue. As it is so tall, the Eiffel Tower can be seen from many different places in Paris. We visited in the millenium and the tower had special wording to welcome in the year 2000. Address: Trocadero Directions: You can't miss it!!!

My husband with the Eiffel Tower. - Paris

My husband with the Eiffel Tower. - Paris

The Eiffel Tower. - Paris

The Eiffel Tower. - Paris

A new millenium. - Paris

A new millenium. - Paris

Notre Dame Cathedral.

Notre Dame Cathedral, the Cathedral of Our Lady, is also world famous. We viewed it from the outside again because of horrendous long queues. Notre Dame Cathedral is a Catholic cathedral located on the eastern half of the Île de la Cité. The cathedral's treasury houses Christ's Crown of Thorns, a fragment of the True Cross, and one of the Holy Nails that were driven into Christ's body. The area around the cathedral has lots of book stalls and cafes. Notre Dame Cathedral was the setting for Victor Hugo's famous novel about the hunchback bell ringer, Quasimodo, who falls madly in love with the beautiful gypsy dancer, Esmerelda. Notre Dame was complete by around 1345. It has several famous and hideous gargoyles scaring away any evil spirits that may try to enter it.

Notre Dame - Paris

Notre Dame - Paris

Notre Dame - Paris

Notre Dame - Paris

Sacre Coeur Basilica.

The Basilica of the Sacre Coeur is a Roman Catholic church dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. It is located at the summit of the Butte Montmartre, the highest point in Paris, so there are good views from the top of the steps that climb up to it. The Sacre Coeur Basilica was designed by Paul Abadie. Building work began in 1875 and was completed in 1914. Although it was busy here, we did manage to get inside. Some restoration work was going on when we visited. I especially wanted to visit the Sacre Coeur when we visited Paris. I remember as a child in primary school our whole class doing a project on Paris and trying to make models of its most famous buildings. I had to make a model of the Sacre Coeur and of course instantly wanted to go and see the real thing. Finally made it in the year 2000.

The Sacre Coeur - Paris

The Sacre Coeur - Paris

View from the Sacre Coeur - Paris

View from the Sacre Coeur - Paris

The Moulin Rouge.

The Moulin Rouge or red windmill first opened its doors to the public in October 1889. Its owners were Joseph Oller and Charles Zidler who described it as a temple of music and dance. The Moulin Rouge popularized the then outrageous can can dance. One of the Moulin Rouge's most famous customers in its early years was artist Henri de Toulouse Lautrec, who painted a number of famous Moulin Rouge scenes. We did not go to see a show here, just looked at the windmill and the paintings of dancers in the entrance way.

Moulin Rouge - Paris

Moulin Rouge - Paris

Moulin Rouge - Paris

Moulin Rouge - Paris

The Arc di Triomphe.

The Emperor Napoleon ordered the construction of the Arc de Triomphe in 1806. The arch was built to honor the Grande Armee of France which at that time had conquered most of Europe and was considered invincible. The Arc de Triomphe cost 9.3 million French francs to build. Under the vault of the arch are written the names of 128 battles and 558 generals who fought in them.The arch was finished in 1836, fifteen years after Napoleon's death in exile. Address: Place Charles de Gaulle Etoile Directions: Metro Line 1, 2, RER A : Charles de Gaulle Etoile.

L'Arc de Triomphe - Paris

L'Arc de Triomphe - Paris

The Arc de Triomphe de Carousel.

The Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel is located in the Place du Carrousel. It is built on the site of the former Tuileries Palace. Construction of this arch began in 1806 and was completed in 1808. It was originally built to commemorate the victories of the Emperor Napoleon. It is half the size of the Arc de Triomphe. The arch was originally adorned with the famous horses of Saint Mark's Cathedral in Venice. These had been captured and stolen from St Mark's in 1798 by Napoleon. In 1815, following the Battle of Waterloo, France handed over these statues to the Austrian Empire and they were returned to Venice. The horses were replaced by a sculpture created by Baron François Joseph Bosio. This sculpture shows Peace riding in a triumphal chariot with gilded Victories on each side.

L'Arc de Triomphe de Carousel - Paris

L'Arc de Triomphe de Carousel - Paris

L'Air by Aristide Maillol - Paris

L'Air by Aristide Maillol - Paris

The Place de la Concorde.

The Place de la Concorde is the largest public square in Paris. It is located at the eastern end of the Champs Élysées. The square was designed by Ange Jacques Gabriel in 1755 and was decorated with statues and fountains. At one time this square held an equestrian statue of King Louis XV. During the French Revolution this statue was torn down. The square was renamed Place de la Révolution and a guillotine was placed in the square. It was here that King Louis XVI was executed on the 21st of January 1793. Queen Marie Antoinette was also beheaded here. Our visit was a bit more peaceful; we rode the big wheel here and enjoyed views across Paris. The Luxor Obelisk, a 23 metre high Egyptian obelisk, can be found in the centre of this square. This obelisk was originally located at the entrance to the Luxor Temple in Egypt. Address: Metro 1, 13 : Concorde.

Place de la Concorde - Paris

Place de la Concorde - Paris

Place de la Concorde - Paris

Place de la Concorde - Paris

The Louvre.

The Louvre is one of the most famous museums in the world and home to the Mona Lisa. Of course we did not go in, that queuing business again, but we enjoyed people watching at the fountains outside. The Louvre exhibits around 35,000 objects stretching from prehistory to the 21st century. It was initially built as a fortress and the original building dates from the late 12th century. Later it became the Louvre Palace and during the French Revolution it turned into the Louvre Museum. Since 2008 the Louvre collection has been divided into eight major areas: Egyptian Antiquities; Near Eastern Antiquities; Greek, Etruscan, and Roman Antiquities; Islamic Art; Sculpture; Decorative Arts; Paintings; Prints and Drawings. Outside the Louvre Museum you can see the Louvre Pyramid. This is a large glass and metal pyramid, surrounded by three smaller pyramids. These date from 1989 and were designed by I M Pei. The large pyramid is the main entrance to the Louvre Museum. Not everyone was impressed by modern works of art being placed next to classical ones. Prince Charles described the pyramids as a monstrous carbuncle on the face of an old friend. Conspiracy theorists claim the number of glass panels making up the pyramid is 666 the number of the beast in Revelations. Personally I did not count them so I cannot comment. Directions: Métro: Palais RoyalMusée du Louvre.

The Louvre - Paris

The Louvre - Paris

The Louvre - Paris

The Louvre - Paris

The Louvre - Paris

The Louvre - Paris

Jardins du Luxembourg.

The Luxembourg Gardens were one of my favourite places in Paris. They are currently the gardens of the French Senate, which is housed nowadays in the Luxembourg Palace. The Luxembourg Gardens date from 1611 when Marie de Medici, the widow of King Henry, decided to build a palace to remind her of her native Florence. The Luxembourg Gardens have lots of flowers, statues and water features. They are a peaceful and calm place for a stroll.

Luxembourg Gardens - Paris

Luxembourg Gardens - Paris

Luxembourg Gardens - Paris

Luxembourg Gardens - Paris

Pond and Arch - Paris

Pond and Arch - Paris

Parc Monceau.

Parc Monceau is a pleasant and interesting public park. It can be found at the junction of Boulevard de Courcelles, Rue de Prony and Rue Georges Berger. The park was originally the brainchild of Phillippe d'Orléans, the Duke of Chartres. He was a staunch Anglophile and wanted to create an English garden complete with follies. The garden was completed in 1779. Its follies at that time included a miniature Egyptian pyramid, a Roman colonnade and a Dutch windmill. In 1793 Phillippe d'Orléans, the Duke of Chartres, was guillotined during the Reign of Terror and Parc Monceau was handed over to the French people. In 1871 the Paris Commune, a revolutionary socialist government that ruled Paris from the 18th of March until the 28th of May 1871, fell from power. Supporters of this commune were massacred by the French army in Parc Monceau. Claude Monet was a frequent visitor to Parc Monceau. In 1876 he painted three paintings of springtime in the park. He painted two additional paintings of the park in 1878.

Parc Monceau - Paris

Parc Monceau - Paris

Parc Monceau - Paris

Parc Monceau - Paris

Churchill Statue.

We were surprised as we were walking around Paris to suddenly encounter a bronze statue of Winston Churchill. The statue is located on the Avenue Winston Churchill. It was unveiled on the 80th anniversary of the signing of the Armistice which ended World War I.The statue is ten feet high and was created by French sculptor Jean Cardot. It cost £250,000 and was funded by donations from the French public. The statue is modelled on a photo of Churchill walking down the Champs Elysee with General Charles de Gaulle on 11 November, 1944. In 2009 the statue was vandalized by antiwar protesters who daubed its hands with blood red paint.

Churchill Statue

Churchill Statue

Clock Sculpture.

Outside the Saint Lazare Station there is a sculpture consisting of many clocks joined together. The clocks show lots of different times, so when looking at it you can choose the time you want it to be. This sculpture is called L'heure de tous - everyone's time. It was sculpted by French artist, Arman. Arman, whose real name was Armand Fernandez, was born in Nice in 1928. He later moved to America and became a naturalized American citizen. He died in New York in 2005. One of Arman's specialties was accumulations sculptures in which he welded large quantities of the same objects together. For example, avalanche an accumulation of axes which he created in 1990. This is on display at Tel Aviv University.

Clock Sculpture.

Clock Sculpture.

The Man Who Could Walk Through Walls,Le PasseMuraille.

Le PasseMuraille, which means the one who could pass through walls, is the title of a story by Marcel Ayme. In this story his main character, Dutilleul, discovers he has the ability to walk through walls. He uses this ability to rob banks, have affairs and escape from angry husbands and free himself from prison. There is a wonderful statue of Le PasseMuraille in Place Marcel Ayme in Montmatre.

The Man Who Could Walk Through Walls

The Man Who Could Walk Through Walls

Posted by irenevt 20:51 Archived in France

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Comments

We like the Batobus too. It's great fun. When there's a long line at Notre Dame, we just go over and walk in at the exit. We discovered this when we were trying to go to Mass one Sunday and couldn't get in. My husband will not be late to church so we improvised. Another trick is to go when it's raining. That usually gets rid of the line.

You can get in the Louvre without standing in line. Next time you're in Paris, message me and I'll tell you how. It changes from year to year so wait until you have a travel date.

We were there in 2000 also and I have nearly the same photo of the Eiffel Tower with the lit-up 2000 on it. Fun. We've been to Paris more than a dozen times and still never gone up the Tower. I'm not fond of heights and you're right, the lines are ridiculous. We were there on May Day once and the lines were so long you couldn't see the end of them.

by Beausoleil

Hi Sally,

Good idea about Notre Damme. We will try that next time. All the best, Irene

by irenevt

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