Monday, April 7, 2014

Postcards from Paris (Part 1)

***WARNING: there are a few too many pictures of the Eiffel Tower in this post! (If you only knew how many I edited out!***

I posted a few teaser pics on Facebook last week, but then life became quite crazy, and I wasn't able to follow up with the rest of the pictures. So, a week later, I'm finally getting around to it!

I decided to start with the more famous landmarks!

This is looking down to Place de la Concorde from Le Madeleine (which I'll mention later). It was cool to see that though modern cars and modern clothes lined the streets, the buildings were relatively unchanged from so many historical pictures. Every building was etched, designed, trimmed..... it was simply lovely.

Hubby and I spent some time at The Galeries Lafayette- a super huge department store! The top level had a cafe, with free wifi (pronounced wee-fee by the French!). That dome is just incredible!

Outside, we spent a day wandering the Seine... as most of the famous landmarks are along the river, it was a lovely path to take. We passed this awesome car as we walked by the Louvre! I loved it!

Speaking of Le Louvre.... (by the way... that crowd in front is the queue to get in). :-P

There are several bridges in Paris that have become famous for their 'love-locks'. We happened to be on the Pont des Arts, which glistened in the sun with thousands and thousands of locks and hidden wishes. I surprised the hubby by sneaking along our own to put on the bridge! Can you see it there with our initials? Yes- it's the silver combination lock, which kind of defeats the purpose of making a wish as you throw the key in the river, but its the only lock we had, and, since I've owned that lock since high school, it seemed a fitting one to leave.

Can you find ours in this picture?

At Notre Dame Cathedral! It was actually a little smaller than expected, but amazingly intricate! The front plaza was swamped with tourists...

But the sides were a bit more walkable, and in the back was a lovely garden! (Which was actually closed one day for filming of the new version of Rosemary's Baby... creepy, aye?)

Some details on the Cathedral. Did you know there was a clock on Notre Dame?

I loved this apartment building across the river from the cathedral. The geraniums in the windows were too picturesque!

Did you know that Notre Dame is actually on an island in the river? You have to use a bridge to get to it from either direction! A few minutes walk on Ile de la Cite, and you'll see Sainte Chapelle peeking over the buildings. We weren't able to get in, but do a quick lookup online, and you'll see it is utterly amazing! The spires alone were 'in-spiring'! :-D *Sorry! I had to!

Then.... we took a trip to the famed Shakespeare and Company! I'll be honest... I was expecting to walk through the doors and feel history (and literary genius) come out of the woodwork and hit me in the face. Though that didn't happen, it was cool to be able to say we've been there and looked at books handled by authors of the 'golden age'.

Shh! Don't tell! You're not supposed to take any pictures inside! In fact, the lady on the left rebuked me immediately after I took this shot. Oh well, at least I got one!

All right... you've officially hit the Eiffel Tower part of the post. Deep breath! Hang in with me here!
The tower was amazing during the day: to consider its engineering and construction (especially intended as a temporary structure for the World Fair). It seems to define the steampunk genre, and is flat out cool. But at night.... ah, at night, it's magical!

And, because I'm not sure if you've really seen enough of the Eiffel Tower yet, here's a video we took of it twinkling! It was breathtaking!

A fairly short walk away, and you arrive at the Arc de Triomphe! Its massive. And in the middle of the most insane roundabout you'll ever see. No seriously. Traffic just stops. Motorcycles weave between the cars that no longer form lanes, horns honk, profanities swirl. It's magical. :-)

A few last miscellaneous beauties: first, a garden market on Ile de la Cite that was charming!

And, as mentioned at the beginning of the post, Le Madeleine, a Catholic church that rose and fell multiple times through multiple rulers. This structure was actually commissioned by Napoleon as a tribute to his grand army! The outside (of which I have no photo) is in a greek style with pillars all around. The inside is dark, but grand beyond belief. You look all scale in this picture, but in the second photo, which is a huge organ, (Mom-can you show Papa?!), can you see the bluish box in the bottom right. The top of that is normal door height. It's massive!

While in Paris, I became fascinated with the carousels that one finds throughout the city! They were lovely!

Thanks for bearing with me. I promise the other other posts won't be so long! Hope you enjoyed your mini-trip to Paris! Hope you can go one day yourself!

Au revoir!


  1. Love the carousel shots! And I love it when the tower sparkles at night =) Everyone oohs and ahhs like they are watching fireworks as soon as it starts, haha.
    Did you go up to the top?

  2. I'm so happy you got to go to Paris! Loved the pictures!

  3. I didn't know the tower sparkled! Beautiful photos, Kate. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Kate These are incredible pictures. You have a good eye. I would hang many of these on my walls. And I've never been to Paris or seen the eiffel tower but don't think I've ever seen better pictures of it!