What a beautiful and exciting city and why is this only the first visit? The traffic is horrific, but it flows and when on holidays it is not a problem. The people are friendly, the food delicious and the atmosphere, entertaining.
Staying in the Latin Quarter is a treat. Every corner, every tree-lined boulevard, every ally-way is a new experience. I love the old buildings, the architecture, the iron work and the monuments. As for the sites to see, they are almost endless. It is a city of sirens. Never one police vehicle, but usually three or more in convoy. The ‘police’ are dressed in full riot gear with four or five to a vehicle. However, there is the beat cop and traffic cop in shirtsleeves doing their duty.
Taking a few bus trips around Paris to be come familiar with the city is good value. People strolling, standing in endless lines to enter a special place, lovers in the parks and gardens, sitting drinking coffee and wine, kids being kids – the experience is different for everyone.
As a photographer I cannot put my camera down. People, places, monuments, ancient attractions or just the city-scape, it is my delight. I can see why Henri Cartier-Bresson photographed Paris and had the decisive moment in his photography.
I stood for two hours in light rain watching the Paris ‘Gay Parade’. Thousands of people participated and thousands more lined the streets. From the outlandish costumes – a guy (I assume) in leather, muzzle and on a dog chain crawled the whole route – to the beautiful, or those making a statement, the parade had it all.
It is very hard to walk past the numerous coffee ‘houses’. Although a ‘long black’ coffee here is two-shots and strong. Arrr the smoking though. So many smokers – it seems more young women than men – and in the restaurants, even the staff smoke.
In my next post I will talk of specific places that are special – certainly the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame and The Louve, and the beauty of Str Chapelle.