Welcome back! Hope you had a great holiday and New Year!
Okay, so we're a bit behind schedule, but with the holidays and New Years and such, you can understand, right? Right...?
Well, let's pick up where we left off in the last post, and if you missed it, you can read it here: https://travelfeed.io/travelfeed/@seangold/my-european-adventure-part-3-seaside-towns-of-the-normandy-coast-deauville-trouville-and-honfleur
Or if you're just joining, welcome, and be sure to check out the previous segments on my Blog!
So last we spoke, I was leaving the incredible Normandy coast and heading back to the beautiful city of lights; the city of love....Paris!
Oh, where to start. Paris means a lot to me, a real lot. It was the first city I visited on another continent. You could say this city birthed my love for places foreign. I first came here in 2007 I believe it was, not speaking the language, not knowing the culture and feeling so out of place, not being able to communicate and feeling awkward kissing everyone's cheeks. But I quickly learned, the cultures at least, the French would take a bit more time, but it too came. I have a lot of love for this city, but maybe we'll touch more on this in another post, for now let's stick to this timeline.
I got back to Paris on Friday night, so that means I would have about 2 and a half days to enjoy Paris before heading off onto my crazy week long Eurorail adventure! It was weird though, this time felt quite different. I wasn't as inspired by Paris as I usually am, perhaps I had been to this city so much now? Perhaps my style of shooting had changed from before? I couldn't fully put my finger on it, but I went on to explore and photograph none the less.
I decided to walk about 2 miles down towards Notre Dame, one of my favorite spots to hang out and people watch. I hung out there and listened to my current audio book at the time, "The Subtle Art of Not giving a Fuck" for about an hour or so, then began to make my way towards the Louvre. Pro tip, if you find yourself here, find the stairs that go down towards the river, you get a great view of Notre Dame from down there, and quite a lot of movie scenes have been shot down there.
I love walking, anywhere really, but especially in Paris, you never know what you'll find, like this Himalayan showcase I stumbled upon.
I could go on a rant on how we should all be walking more, and actually, I will, just a little bit. When you walk, you see more, you experience more, you're in the middle of everything. One of my favorite quotes is "He who walks for 10 minutes sees more than he who drives for an hour." And especially when you're out photographing, you're able to catch so many more amazing moments. Oh, and it's good for your health too. But mostly, better photos.
And one last look at Notre Dame.
When I go to the Louvre, I make sure to be on the opposite side of Le Seine, so I have to cross over Le Ponts des Arts, the famous bridge for the Locks of Love. Although, a few years back they removed all of them due to the increased structural burden, so my lock is no longer there :( But locks or not, it's still one of my favorite bridges in Paris.
And then the entrance directly across from Le Ponts des Arts is also beautifully aligned with the bridge and the building across the way.
I didn't actually go into the Louvre this visit, one, because it wasn't free like when I usually go, and two, I literally got lost inside there last time and couldn't find my way out and was about 30 minutes late to meet my friend. So I just enjoyed it from the outside, which is also very beautiful.
This was my first time here with an ultra wide angle lens, which really let me play with some of the strong lines here.
And here's one of my favorite hallways along side of the Louvre. I love shooting here because most tourists don't notice it.
I then began to leave the Louvre area and head for my first visit of this trip to the Le Tour Eiffel by walking through Le Tuileries.
After a good 10 miles or so of walking, in total, I made it to The Eiffel Tower and hung around Le Seine for a bit taking in the view.
I waited there till about sunset, got a few shots, and then began my walk home for the night.
Now it was Sunday, and I had plans to meet someone special to me who I hadn't seen in almost 10 years, which I hadn't even realized it had been that long. I was to meet her in the evening near L'arc de Triomphe, so I decided I would explore my way in that general direction and try to end up there, hopefully on time.
My first destination is another of my favorite places in Paris, Sacre Coeur and Montmartre. But first, I saw a shot here I really wanted to get, so I went a new way here in hopes of finding the street that would give me the view I was looking for, and after some exploring, I found it!
I've been here many times, so I didn't shoot too much here, plus it's always so full of tourists, as you can see in my selfie.
But I did find a beautiful girl that I just had to photograph, so I asked her if it was okay, and it's a bit nerve wracking, because my French is a bit rusty. After asking, she replied in English, which was a slight relief. Turns out she was actually from Lithuania. I really wish I could have had some time to shoot with her around Montmartre, but she was on holiday and was trying to see the city, so I just grabbed a few shots. Here's one of my favorites.
After that, I shot around a few of the streets in the Montmartre area, these are some of my favorite streets.
After that, I made my way to the Arc de Triomphe.
And on my way, I realized, today was the free day to go to the top! So I got in line and hoped to get up quick so I wouldn't be late. After about 30 minutes or so, I was on my way to the top!
I didn't stay up too long, because time was tight, plus the sun was pretty much down, so I began heading down after about 45 minutes. After I got to the bottom, I was waiting for her across the street. Then a tiny little fiat pulls up, she rolls the window down, I see it's her and I hop in before the crazy traffic comes.
She took me to a cool place with a great view of the eiffel tower and we caught up for a bit. I wanted to take more photos of her, but she wasn't too happy about that seeing as she just got off work, so we settled for some selfies, and roaming the city for a couple of hours.
^^ She didn't get the message of make a goofy face, apparently. Oh well. It was a real pleasure to see her again, and I hope to see her again before another 10 years.
And that's about it for that day, last, but not least, we have Chateau De Vincinnes, a beautiful castle on the outskirts of Paris, and easily accessible by the Metro, as most things are.
This is the only fortified castle in the city of Paris, complete with a moat and everything.
Once inside, the complex, you have the main keep, 2 mansions, 1 for the king, 1 for the queen, and their own chapel. Here's the keep.
An here's a look at the stained glass in the chapel.
Phew. Wow. That was a lot more than I expected. Give yourself a pat on the back if you made it to the end. I hope you enjoyed this segment of my journey. And next, I'll be taking a midnight bus to begin my country hoping Eurorail trip!
Till next time,