Saturday, June 6, 2009

More Wonderful Paris!

On May 29th, we went to a free (English speaking) walking tour at 11am, which met at Place St. Michel (St. Michael's Square) very close to the hip, Latin Quarter. The tour company was "New Europe by Sandeman's." They did a great job, I highly recommend their tour! Dave wanted to sleep late, but I woke up early and couldn't sleep, so took a walk around the neighborhood. I discovered a great boulangerie & patisserie (bread & pastry) shop. I immediately heard angels singing. :-) They sold great cafe, croissants and sandwiches. We bought a panini to have later in the day.

Place St. Michel

Pont Neuf-the bridge at the Ile de la Cite (island) that separates the right from the left bank.

The story of Pont Neuf is that when it was finished, the King (Henry IV, I think) had a massive party. His instructions were to have no one's glass empty. When everyone was good and drunk, he commissioned artists to sketch caricatures of all of his guests. The caricatures were then added to the bridge. You can't see it well from this picture, but the various slabs of stone coming down from the walk, were stone carvings of faces.

Henry IV

Pedistrian bridge; behind me is the Il de la City and Pont Neuf.

At night, this bridge is happening, with music and people hanging out drinking wine. Clubs and bars are so expensive here, that people just hang out in various areas. It's kinda cool, but also might be part of the reason that the streets smell like pee. When hanging out, drinking, the Parisians use the streets as their urinals.

Me and the bro (or mon frere) being silly in the jardin des tuileries.

View of the jardin des tuileries from an elevated walk.

Oblisque given to the French by the Egyptians in the Place de Concorde (Concorde Square).
This square is where beheadings used to take place. Marie Antoinette was beheaded here. Back then, the smell was so bad that horses refused to pass the square.

View of the Eiffel Tower from Place de Concorde
Arc de Triomphe view as we cross the Champs Elyeese

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