Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Paris, France (part I)

Ok maybe I'm just being stupid but you have to realise I'm living in America now so you need to qualify which Paris you are talking about, you know. I mean it could be Paris, Texas or maybe even Paris Creek in South Australia (no really, look it up).

Anyway, after the delights of Italy we moved on to the City of Lights. My first visit and on the whole it did not disappoint. Sadly we only managed one rude waiter and everyone else we dealt with in hotels, shops, taxis, on the street etc were perfectly human.

One very cool thing we came across were "free" English speaking walking tours - all conducted by local Parisians and only asking for a tip at the end, we did four of these (South bank/Latin Quarter, Montmratre, North Bank and Marais). They were all great as the guide endeavoured to take you off the well worn tourist paths to see a little bit of the hidden gems of Paris. I have to say I think they succeeded when we emerged from a side lane into a throng of tourists on the way up to Sacré-Coeur. Obviously we hadn't been on the "main" tourist route, and while you can just go wandering on your own, it was great to get a bunch of local history, stories and opinions (Thomais really didn't like those North bank people very much).

Of course this and the big sites led to a LOT of photo opportunities. Here are some of my favourites.

9. Paris: North Bank, Seine and Ile de la Cite

Yours truly at the Jardin du Palais Royale (Royal Palace garden)

 The metro - best way to describe it is "it works"

Forecourt of the Louvre looking at the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel (not the more famous Arc de Triomphe which I didn't actually get around to visiting)

Le Louvre

Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel

Siene River crossed by Pont des Arts looking at the Institut de France arts academy

Pont Neuf (Bridge Nine)

Le tour (there are a lot of these kind of shots)
 Grand Palais
 Hotel National des Invalides

The Seine looking south from Pont Neuf

Buildings on the Isle de la Cite (the biggest island in the middle of the Seine)

 Flower market on the Isle de la Cite

Petit Pont (little Bridge) leading south towards the Latin quarter

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