Josephine Baker sing it marvelously: “J’ai deux Amours, mon pays et Paris “or “I have two loves, my country and Paris”. Paris is the place where part of my heart forever will be. Spent my most cognitive and formatives years there. My happy place, my place where I am the most grounded.
As you may realize, this post is a bit late. Better late than ever, right?
This past summer I spent a few days with my best friend and her family just outside Paris. We had such a fantastic time shopping, eating, relaxing, walking and talking. Amazing the distance never seems to bring us apart.
And then a few days alone in Paris. As I am an early riser and I enjoy walking, I left my hotel room early in the morning and ready to enjoy my favorite city. Crossed the bridge to the left bank of the Seine.
Taking pictures and taking in the smells and noises of the city. I absolutely love to see any city wake up in the morning. My destination was the Eiffel Tower. Quite a hike from the Opera. However, the sun was out, perfect weather and why not?
You may not know this about me, but I am a very spiritual person. As I am walking, I am praying and giving thanks for all the blessing that are bestowed upon me. All the wonderful opportunities and experiences that I have encountered throughout our family vacation. And let’s face it I am in Paris, how fantastic is that?
As I finish my prayers, I reach the Pont Alexander III with as a background the Grand Palais. Stunning and stunning.
A gentleman was taking pictures therefore I waited until he was done. I never talk to strangers, just not my thing. However, conversation started, and I decided to let all my fears go and chat back. What a gift!! Not only he was an architect in Paris for years, he is also an active member of the preservation of Paris historical sights and buildings. And a photographer. The perfect alignment of the universe placed us on the same path early in the morning. Somehow in the conversation it came up that we were headed on the same direction.
Together we walked along the Seine. I was completely mesmerized to the wealth of knowledge that he shared with me. Did you knew that there are 37 bridges crossing the Seine in Paris?
Pont Alexander III
Located between the Invalides and Le Grand Palais. Built for the Paris Exposition Universelle of 1900. Tsar Nicolas II laid the first brick on 1896. A symbol of friendship between the French and Russia.
All lamp post light up all night are just a beautiful sight to see.
Against the sun, however it spoke to me.
Military museum commissioned by Louis XIV in 1670 to provide accommodations and medical care for wounded soldiers. If you are wondering, I am standing in the middle of the road taking this picture. Live a little and enjoy the adventure.
Le Grand Palais
Built for the Exposition Universelle of 1900 and dedicated by the Republic to the glory of the French arts. Showcases and hosts art, fashion shows and exhibits, sport and lifestyle events.
The Quadriga Statue: chariot powered by four horses driven by a Greek or Roman symbolizing victory.
Walking along the Seine we can see at a distance the Eiffel Tour.
All my life I always heard of the Zouave has its feet under water, but never saw this close. Located under the Pont de l’Alma since 1850, it is used as as an informal flood marker for la Seine, thus having his feet under water when the river rises.
Pont de Bir-Hakeim
What makes this bridge so special, is that it is the only bridge in Paris that has two levels where cars, pedestrians and the metro, all can be on it at the same time. Unfortunately the Metro was not operating the day I was there. Construction was underway.
Cars alongside on the bottom part. Metro running on the riser.
Pedestrians walking under and in the middle.
Love the ironwork railing of the metro in contrast with the building near it.
Trocadero and Tour Eiffel
Facing each other and separated by the Seine, stand tall two wonderful landmarks of Paris. The Trocadero is the hill of Chaillot, a former village. Expansive complex with museums, sculptures, gardens and fountains.
Heading back to my hotel, I decided to take a quick detour to my favorite cooking store. I have been shopping E.Dehillerin ever since I can remember. Not because I needed something, although once you walk thru the old doors, everything is on your want list. True to form, my Christmas present just arrived. Do you see all that copper? Pure heaven.
Eglise St. Eustache.
Located in Les Halles and it is one of the most visited church. Known for the unusual large dimensions and the wealth of art works that it contains.
The pipe organ is one of the biggest in France.
Inside Eglise Saint-Eustache
And just outside the door sits this huge sculpture.
Cannot be in Paris and not say hello to one of my favorite hill top, Montmartre. So many wonderful memories of coming here.
And of course the view from the butte is never ending. Paris at your feet.
Named after one of our presidents, George Pompidou, it is considered an architectural wonder. I do remember when it first open and all the stir that caused. How can you put such a modern thing next to so much history? The goal was to offer a new place where French art was the center of the international art scene and be open to everyone. Here is where I first fell in love with modern art. Here is where I spent so many hours when I was young.
And from the back street.
All the world most famous jeweler, designer houses have a presence on this place. The Austerlitz column, stands tall in the middle of the cobblestone plaza, with a statue of Napoleon dresses as Caesar on the top.
View from the newly opened Louis Vuitton store.
So many inspiring your ballerinas have enter those doors and trained. Even-though it is officially renamed the Academie Royale de Musique, it continues to be referred to as Opera.
One of the most iconic places in the world. Former palace of the kings of France, now hold major woks of art and sculptures. Venus and Milo, The Mona Lisa and numerous collections of art works filling walls upon walls.
Carrousel Art de Triumph at the beginning of the Jardin des Tuilleries
The Obelisk with Art de Triomphe in the back ground
Conciergerie and Sainte Chapelle. Located in the heart of Paris it was first a King’s palace then a jail, particularly under the French Revolution when Marie-Antoinette was a prisoner here. Today it functions a court of law.
Hotel de Ville
City Hall housing the city local administration.
Is the lower house of the bicameralParliament of France under the Fifth Republique. The upper house is the Senate.
I hope you enjoyed my short trip to Paris. My home and part of my soul.