Thursday, 20 October 2011

France # 1 of 5 -- Paris -- October 2011

Decisions, decisions. I tried to think what was the best way to present shots of our trip in a blog. How many should I post? What would be of  interest to others? Should I pick one or two from each part of the trip and only post 40 or so?

In the end I went with the thought of posting a sampling of all (even a sampling ends up with lots) on the assumption that a viewer could quickly scroll down the small versions of the images and only enlarge the ones of interest (if any). It also helps me organize my images from the trip.

This will be an experiment for me. The only way I've posted trip pictures before has been my web site where I put them in a gallery format much like Flickr & other sites. That way they end up in large blobs with the only text being the titles of the images. So it'll be interesting to see how it goes with this blog.

This is Part 1... more to follow later. It breaks up the work for me and those of you that aren't really interested can ignore my future posts of the trip.

We arrived in Paris a couple days before our bus trip started. It saved us some cash on a seat sale with Air Canada plus we like to have a day or two on our own before starting a tour anyway.

The world still loves Marilyn.

We stayed in a small hotel (the Monterosa) in Montmarte. This was the reception desk... rather quaint I thought.

The view from our room. Balconies in Parisian hotels are small... ours was about 3 ft by 8 ft... pretty typical. The apartments across the street are  typical of Paris too, both in looks and in height. There's a restriction on how tall buildings can be in central Paris, though there are rumblings that that is going to change... a sad change in my view.

The first night we went up the Montparnasse Tower.

Then we took the Metro to Notre Dame.

Especially near Notre Dame (at night at least), the French gather along the Seine with their baguettes & wine or whatever else. It's mostly the younger crowd but not exclusively.

Jane read about "I Love You: The Wall" before we left. It wasn't far from the Monterosa so we walked up to it the next day, on our way to Sacre Coeur. An artist had 300 people or so write "I love you" in their language. He then put it on tiles and they were put up here.

Tourists stand in front of the wall, pointing to their language for pictures.

If you're interested in learning more about it, here's a link...

A practical way to move your roasting chestnuts around... use a shopping cart.

We sampled lots of French pastries this trip. This shop had delicious apple tarts.

Sacre Coeur

This mime was "frozen" until someone dropped a donation in his cup... he'd then do a slow motion bow with a big smile.

These two look completely engrossed in their card game.

An artist in Montmarte painted this on the pavement... a very clever twist I thought.

An artist in Tertre Square, just below Sacre Couer.

An eye-catcher on a wall near some apartments.

One of the streets we walked up to get to Sacre Couer. We walked 10 miles this day according to my pedometer. We were both beat when we finally got back to the hotel.

Rent-a-Bikes are popular in a few European cities now. Pick one up from various locations, return it to the same spot or any other location where they're located. Very cheap.. you have to use a credit card and leave a deposit. We rented one in Vienna on an earlier trip and rode thru a large park there... great fun.

After two nights at the Monterosa we took a cab to the hotel where the tour started from. It was in La Defense, the northern part of Paris where skyscrapers are allowed. It's mostly office buildings and high apartment buildings so I expected the area to be pretty boring but we found a few gems and had a good time.

Our hotel was the Novotel.

The view from our window... the high building behind the Eiffel Tower is the Montparnasse Tower that we went up the first night. I forget the story about why it was permitted to be so high in that area... though it's not central Paris.

The view in the other direction... Sacre Couer on the horizon.

Yet another view from our room... a working barge. The Novotel is on the Seine but what you see on the Seine there is very different from central Paris.

Houseboats can be docked in northern Paris and there are lots of them.

Some of them do look like houses.

From our hotel we walked up to the most famous landmark in La Defense... this modern arch.

It's a popular spot to just sit and chat while you take in the view of central Paris.

Looking towards the city you see the Arc de Triumph, perfectly in line with the modern arch.

There are some interesting looking buildings in La Defense, with lots of reflections.

Paris has (London) Plane trees throughout the city, most notably along the Champs-Elysees. They're a very close cousin to our Sycamore but are more disease resistant.

The bark is patchy, like camouflage, in shades of brown & green.

Some of the leaves are huge, even on fairly small trees.

The colorful one is a water tower.

A reflective pool in the midst of the skyscrapers.

And further along, a  sunken garden.

Nothing like a convex mirror surface to give us that slim look that we used to have.

The first official day of our tour was a city tour. This view is from the Trocodero.

Until you get close to the Eiffel Tower (or use a telephoto lens) you can't really appreciate how big it actually is.

Our tour director gathering his flock for the next leg of the tour. Turned out he was Italian (Ricardo).

Paris City Hall...

The detail on European buildings leaves me in awe.

We came across a couple of these giant-bubble makers. They dipped the string in a soap pail and with a gentle twist the giant bubbles appeared, though it didn't look easy... they had a lot of duds.

The Grand Palace... and more impressive sculptures. I wish we had more in our part of the world, I love sculptures.

Shop windows are a good source for interesting images. Would any of you ladies wear these?

In case it's not obvious, the zipper isn't real.

Congratulations if you hung in there to the end. :-)

This turned out to be a lot more work than I thought it would be. Mind you, I cleaned up some images in the process and got my images more organized.

Maybe I'll wait for some of your comments to decide if it's a good way to go or not. 


If you're interested, here's the link for France #2 of 5: 

- fini -



At 27 October 2011 at 08:01 , Anonymous Ian Jasman said...

Hi Bob,

Loved the photo's and the way it's presented looks great as well. Keep up the good work...

Look forward to seeing some more...

At 19 August 2012 at 20:17 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi there! Just wanted to say that I really liked your blog, pictures and the way you set everything. Did want to remark about "L'arc de Triomphe" correction on the picture that you put Triumph instead.

Thank you for sharing!


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