Paris – A walk Across the City   12 comments

It was a glorious sunny Sunday after our visit to the Tour Montparnasse so we decided on a walk through the city to tick off some sites. The famous Champs Elysees is closed to traffic on a Sunday so what better place to start. We pitched into the Metro and popped out at the famous landmark at the head of Paris most famous avenue.


Unlike the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe was much bigger than I thought. It was built by Napoleon so he could march through it – triumphantly – when he won the war. Just one tiny flaw in that plan. He lost. Still he got the dubious compensation of having his ashes paraded through it. Not the same somehow


It sits in the middle of a vast and seemingly free for all traffic roundabout. It was scary just watching the traffic race around and especially the bikes nonchalantly wandering through. There was even one guy who sauntered straight across the lines of traffic without a care in the world. He could have been run over numerous times but he just gave a gallic shrug and wandered off.

The view towards La Defense




The tomb of the unknown soldier and eternal flame


We had thought about climbing to the top but we’d already had a great high view, there was a long queue and most importantly it cost money



We headed off down the Champs Elysees


Despite its fame I was underwhelmed. It is a rather grand broad boulevard but it’s just lined with expensive shops and hotels. I didn’t think it was anything special and there were certainly far better places we saw in Paris. We ate lunch from a cheerless chain sandwich shop sitting on the pavement. It was Sunday and all the bakeries were shut


Things improved from there. We wandered down a side street and found the Grand Palais and the Petit Palais and they were rather grand. Both were built for the Worlds Fair at the same time as the Eiffel Tower

The Petit Palais


The Grand Palais


The Grand Palais appeared to want more of my hard-earned cash but the Petit Palais was free. Easy decision

It was very impressive both inside and out. It had a fine collection of art and paintings but it’s not really our thing


We had a little wander about (the gardens were rather nice), used the loos and moved on.


Next stop was the Place de la Concorde with its granite obelisk gifted to France by Egypt in 1831 and is actually 3300 years old


It’s an impressive expanse and quite a feat to cross the flow of traffic to reach the centre. Fine views back along the Champs Elysees to the Arc de Triomphe


This is the Fontaine de Mers. It was rather odd but I really liked it


There seemed to be various mermaid types all with a keen hold on a fish. We called it the Fountain of Throttled Fish


From our travels I can safely say is that they do fountains really well in Europe. Almost every square has one and they are almost always well maintained and either interesting, intriguing or simply magnificent. I’m sure the UK has great city centre fountains but I’m struggling to recall one


Onwards into the Jardin des Tuileries. They were busy but magnificent on a sunny Sunday afternoon


They are packed with wide avenues, perfectly manicured lawns and flower beds and more fountains and ponds


Seating space was at a premium though so we admired while we moved through


At the far end of the gardens is the Palais de Louvre and its famous museum. I’d had it my mind that the museum would be an imposing yet bland building but is absolutely huge and quite stunning


At the centre is its famous pyramid. Again I had a preconceived idea that it would garish, modern and out-of-place but I loved it. To me it seemed an appropriate merging of new old and it’s certainly unique. You stand by it and know its The Louvre



The fountains outside were also rather lovely and we sat outside and people watched for a few minutes and to rest our weary feet.


We had decided well ahead of time not to go in. as I said fine art is wasted on us and the queues and high cost were not worth the expense. From what I’ve read even if you only have a passing interest in art, the collection is magnificent, varied and absolutely vast. I read that if you merely glanced at every piece within you’d be in there for 9 months


We headed for home over the rather lovely footbridge, the Pont des Arts


Fine views across to my favourite bridge the twin spans of the Pont Neuf spanning the Ile de la Cite


And back downstream towards the Eiffel Tower


As we headed back to the flat for some rest and recuperation before a meal out we passed by the church of Saint Sulpice again


An absolutely splendid day in a beautiful city


12 responses to “Paris – A walk Across the City

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. I’ve really been enjoying all your photo tours of Paris (that fountain is spectacular!). Keep ’em coming!


  2. Enjoyed the fountains. The UK has a few grand examples but the water is usually turned off so not the same.


    Blue Sky Scotland
    • I think the ones around Trafalger Square are nice. There were nice fountains all over the place in most of the cities we visited. Rome was especially good – have to wait a week or so till I get around to those 🙂


  3. I’m with you on the Louvre. I have been there years ago but I much rather enjoy exploring around outside.


    • I really wish I appreciated art more but its not quite my thing. I enjoy looking around a gallery for a short period but I can’t imagine spending a half a day in one. I just prefer being outdoors I guess and I loved the surroundings of the Louvre


  4. Memories, memories – you’re making me want a trip out there! 😀


    • I think we are giving each other ideas – I keep looking at your pictures from Sweden and thinking I need to go there. Overall I think I still prefer mountains to cities but I certainly loved the city life and it was such a dramatic change from anything I did before. I think the real enjoyment came from the fact it was a trip the whole family enjoyed together. We only went our separate ways on one afternoon in Berlin


  5. Looks terrific. One question – were you exhausted at the end of your day? I found I often was last summer – I think it’s easy to walk a long way without actually paying attention to how far you’ve walked.
    I totally agree about the fountains. Lancaster had a horrible modern fountain, but the council removed it. I think they got fed up with people putting washing-up liquid in it. Perhaps fountains don’t seem so appropriate in places where it’s generally raining anyway?


    • We weren’t especially tired on this day but the weather was perfect and I think we still had early holiday buzz. We did get a bit tired in Rome but more down to how hot it was. I seemed to have more staying power than the rest of the family. I just wanted to carry on walking the streets and taking in all new sights and experiences so we often got home and then I’d go straight out again. I guess some of your tiredness was down to the cruise ship timetable as well, which sounded a bit frenetic as well as trying to cram loads of stuff into one day. We could at least make a mid-day return to an apartment or spend a couple of hours over lunch without feeling we were losing time.
      Never thought about the rainy climate excuse for our sub-standard fountains. Rome in particular seemed especially well blessed with fountains

      Liked by 1 person

      • The cruise thing may have been part of it, but I remember being equally tired after some of our days in Barcelona too. Perhaps because I apartment was a little way out from the centre so that we didn’t really go back at all in the day time and therefore tended to just keep going. Obviously, we need to learn to chill a bit!


        • It took us a few days to realise we had to slow the pace a bit. When I’m on hols I just want to make the most of every possible minute. They are long months at work! Sometimes I forgot that the rest of the family maybe weren’t as manic as me. I still wouldn’t change much of what we did though, probably up and out a bit earlier and longer daytime breaks. Budapest was easier on the feet as the transport system was so good (Rome was rubbish hence more walking in 36C heat)

          Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: