Tuesday, June 28, 2016

France: Impressions of Paris

Luckily we arrived in Paris in May before the floods of June 2016. Unluckily, there was a protest being held at Gare Montparnasse which made returning our rental car a bit of an adventure we could have done without.

Below, near Gare Montparnasse, looking down the street toward our hotel and to give you an idea of the kind of weather we were dealing with in Paris.

Here's the view from our hotel (Pullman Montparnasse) window: You can see the Montparnasse Cemetery where quite a few famous people are interred (Susan Sontag, Mavis Gallant, Alfred Dreyfus, Samuel Beckett, Guy de Maupassant, Man Ray, Camille Saint-Saens, Jean-Paul Sartre were a few of the names I recognized). We later walked by this cemetery, heading to the Métro.

The dome in the distance is the Panthéon, overlooking the Quartier Latin, near the Sorbonne and Jardin du Luxembourg. It is famous in part as the first place that Jean Bernard Léon Foucault tested out his pendulum.

Pantheon, Paris

Pre-flood Paris: that roadway the cars are on gets turned into a beach, Paris-Plage, for July and August when they bring in truckloads of sand and even palm trees. Swimming in the Seine not permitted. 
In June 2016, all underwater!

We stopped here, near Pont Saint-Michel for a morning café. Also flooded.

We walked through the flower market. Heaven in an urban setting!

Notre-Dame Cathedral

Pont des Arts: love locks removed


Couldn't resist this shot, but we didn't go in

Arc de Triomphe du Carousel

The Louvre

Grand Roux de Paris, Place de la Concorde

Arc de Triomphe de l'Étoile

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

We climbed to the top of the Arc de Triomphe and took a while to admire the views in all directions even though it was raining.

First, looking toward La Grande Arche de la Défense

Then down (up?) the Avenue des Champs-Élysées

Toward Montmartre

Toward the Tour Eiffel

Finally toward Montparnasse

Near the Arc de Triomphe: friends' former pied-a-terre

The skyscraper in the distance is Tour Montparnasse, just a block from our hotel

Awesome to see at night

Every evening the Tour sparkles for 5 minutes every hour on the hour