Thursday, 29 May 2014

How to Spend Your Last day in Paris (Or maybe Not) Last Day Part 1

I see that I took no fewer than 199 photos on my last day in Paris (so many of which I will not impose on my readers).

It was really difficult to decide what to do when there was so little time left and so I worked hard the night before to narrow things down…. So today you will get the money shots, the pictures of things everyone expects to see when they hear somebody went to Paris.

So Sunday morning I was up and off…  I decided to take the train and knock out the first two objectives really fast.

There was this adorable family on the subway and I just couldn't resist taking a picture. I got off at my first stop and here is the first money shot:

So you probably know the Arc de Triomphe at the Etoile  in Place Charles De Gaulle was originally a Neo-classical monument to Napoleon commissioned by him in 1806 after his victory at Austerlitz. It lies on the western end of the Champs Élysées shown below.

Of course the inevitable renovations were underway. (I think this is so people feel they have to come back and see the other 25% of everything that they missed.) 

 The arch is in honor of people who died in the the revolution and the Napoleonic wars, but serves as the center for celebrating French victories and national festivities. It is 49.5 meters tall, 45 meters wide and 22 meters deep and beneath it is the tomb of the unknown soldier.

I had figured that I could whip out a shot of that silly tower somewhere near the arch and then head on to more interesting (to me) things. Think again! Although it was nearby, that silly tower completely disappeared and as I walked around looking for it, it  played hide and seek with me.  There was this really cool building easily visible, though!

So I walked in the right direction and couldn't see that darned tower anywhere. There was this really cool plant shop though with a van painted in very floral abstract fashion that seemed to match.

And then I turned a corner and for an instant I could see where it was.

And then it disappeared, so I continued to look at cool plant stores.

That tree which is essentially "bonsaied" in a pot, must be very, very old. 

So I kept walking and still couldn't see the monument even though I knew where it had to be. I passed this Place and double checked my map - surely with so much open space you'd be able to see the tower, mais non!!

I found this building quite attractive with its architectural detail and unusual color.

Then it was past one of the Arabic embassies complete with orientalist sculptures of Arabs  in the inner garden (actually it looked more Turkish to me but I think it was Arab Emirates or something like that).

And then I rounded the corner and la voilá! The Eiffel Tower!

By this time I was so close to it and had spent so much time walking there that I thought I should go the whole distance. I passed this striking monument to those who died in the Second World War. 

Sp now you get more tower than anyone could ever want to see. The tower and the Seine.

The foot of the tower.

That's really all I can bear, so here are various shots taken in the vicinity of the tower.

And then of course I couldn't get away from the tower. It took me forever to find a subway. In the mean time I saw this cute little "exposition" of paintings by school kids  on iron support beams to honor the anniversary of the tower.

It was Sunday so many of the elevated subway stations had little markets set up underneath them. 

I really didn't feel like shopping though although this was enticing. I had never seen a fish with such brightly spotted meat before. I am very curious as to what it was.

 It was in this little fish shop.

I had originally planned to work my way from west to east and end up near my hotel, but the weather had cleared, so instead I decided to reverse my next two destinations.  I finally did manage to find the entrance to the subway (actually an elevated train on this line) and look at these precious subway riders. (By this time I had become audacious in my pursuit of images of the denizens of Paris.)

I got off at the proper stop and there it was - my next goal. You can't really tell from this shot (there is a flea market and a bunch of traffic in the way, but this was the famous cemetery of Père Lachaise

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