19 February 2007

Paris: A Photographic Experience

Ah, Paris...





The weather was perfect. There were few crowds. GLH and I had no plan, no itinerary. We just wandered about Paris. There was no rush to see everything and do all. We know we will be back. Likely many times...

We began Saturday by going to Musee d'Orsay, just across Jardin des Tuileries from our hotel. And GLH's favorite Paris museum.



The Main Paris train station from 1900-1939, it fell into disuse because it's tracks and platforms were not able enough to handle the new, modern trains. In danger of being torn down and replaced with a modern hotel in the mid-70's, it was saved and designated a National Historic site. It opened as a museum in 1986 and houses art of the Western world from 1848 - 1914.

But the original clock remains...



Here is the obligatory photograph of the Eiffel Tower.


We chose not to stand in the line to go up it. Perhaps another time?



And, of course, the Arc de Triomphe de l'Etoile...




Strolling along the Champs Elysées..



To the Obélisque du Luxor in the Place de la Concorde, standing between the end of the Champs Elysées and the beginning of the Jardin des Tuileries.



Getting across the street here is a challenge. I do not envy the job of this police officer, who must force order upon the chaos!

Originally the site of a royal palace, the Jardin des Tuileries is now a 25-hectare park.

At the far end of the Jardins des Tuileries is the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel...

Because, of course, when you have a Napoleon Complex, you can never have too many tributes to yourself. This is especially true when you are actually Napoleon, who had many things built in his honor...

Walking through the Arc, you come upon the Musee de Louvre...


...with the glass pyramids designed by I.M. Pei in 1989. Love 'em or hate 'em, you cannot deny they are distinctive!

Not far past the Louvre is the center of Medieval Paris and the massive Notre Dame de Paris...


By the end of the day we were exhausted and our feet felt as if they were about to fall off. So instead of going out to find one of the restaurants recommended by others, we were lazy and went to the restaurant at the Westin Hotel, where we stayed. It was pretty good, but not fabulous.

On Sunday we woke early and went for a walk. We were pleased to discover that the Opéra National de Paris was open for exploring.


Now that's an Opera House!


Unfortunately, since it was one of the few places open on a Sunday morning, it was also packed. I waited for several minutes to get this shot without anyone in it. But the guy standing there would not move. I finally gave up and took the shot anyway.



Later I figured out how to incorporate the other photographers into the shots...


Our walk back to the hotel took us through Place Vendome.

What a surprise! It's another monument to Napoleon...


The Colonne de Vendome was made from the bronze of 1250 cannons seized from the Austrians and Russians during the Battle of Austerlitz in 1805.


6 comments:

AML said...

I've been to Paris 5 times but have never made it to the Musee D'Orsay - thanks for the beautifal pictures! Did you see any of Camille Claudel's work?

Heather said...

I almost started to cry when I looked at your pictures. I miss Paris so much.

What a wonderful weekend.

Global Librarian said...

AML - yep. Camille Claudel was there.

Heather - get you patouchy over here. And bring Sarah with you!

Beth said...

I love the Musee d'Orsay as well, it might be my favorite museum in the whole world. GLH has great taste!

Renee said...

Your photos are gorgeous!!!

Expat Traveler said...

see the things I miss when I get too busy! Ok - my new goal is to get P to go with my to PAris in Feb... Sans the crowds and it will be just a lot of fun...

I love the pics, especially the blue sky!