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France, Paris – A Quick Visit of the City I

Published: 12.7.2015
I intended to make a trip somewhere. So I surfed on the internet to find out about my options. After while I made the decision. Paris! This trip would be short but the program would be interesting.

My bus leaves Friday afternoon and I am somehow late. I catch it in the eleventh hour so I get zero chance to choose some better place. The journey there is about to be the worst experience. According to regulations lights have to be on in the night. I cannot wait to arrive in Paris.

The city welcomes us in gloomy mood. It is cloudy, sometimes rains. We are riding in wide boulevards and I see famous places for the first time in my life –Bastila square, Rivoli boulevard, Louvre, Place de la Concorde, church de la Madeleine, Champs-Élysées boulevard, and many other.

Notre-Dame

So far the streets are empty. Everybody is just waking up. Around 9 o’clock, we arrive at Place Charles de Gaulle, the first stop at the very – Arc de Triomphe . The monument built by Napoleon was a commemoration of his victory at Slavkov. The foundation stone was laid, however, already in 1806. After some breaks the construction was finally finished on July 29, 1836.

Vítězný oblouk

Before I set off, it was clear to me what would be the greatest challenge for me as a photographer. To take pictures of famous sights without omnipresent tourists. It is almost impossible so I try to find another angle at least. Gloomy weather makes the pictures actually better. I have to find interesting details, non-traditional angle, and then I have to go on.

Paris is spilt into two parts. Every each of them has its own personality. The split is made by the the Seine River . The river is important traffic route and I already look forward to an evening boat ride and to enjoy beautiful lights of evening Paris.

the Seine and the Eiffel Tower

The right bank seems to be rather in the spirit of trade and conservatism. The left bank on the other hand Eiffelova věž more open-minded and intellectual. Now we are heading to La Défense, the skyscraper district. Monumental buildings are everywhere and new are under construction. In 1989, another of Paris’ arches was finished - Le Grande Arche – gigantic, potholed cube – sort of a window made of marble and glass. It is 110 meters tall, 106 meters wide. It could easily contain say Notre-Dame.

Next goal is Tour Montparnasse – a 212 meters tall skyscraper that would give you fantastic vistas of all of Paris. The elevator gets on the 59th floor in couple of minutes. Everything is in front of you, the floor is completely made of glass and shielded from weather’s worse moments. Or you can find some courage to get one floor higher that contains open apertures into the city. Places nearby are easily visible such as Montparnasse cemetery. Unfortunately, the main sight in Paris – the Eiffel Tower – is bit lost out in the fog. Still, the view is impressive.

Tour Montparnasse – výhledTour Montparnasse – výhled

A walk in the center with our guide follows. Together we visit the Montparnasse cemetery holding famous figures of cultural and political life. We can name people such as poet Charles Baudelaire, tycoon André Citroën, writer Guy de Maupassant or artist Philippe Noiret.

Lucemburské zahradyLucemburské zahrady

In Luxemburg Gardens we were greeted by the most famous fountain- Fontaine Médicis. Baroque fountain was built in 1624, with the park it makes it one of the most popular places of rest in Paris . Students rest there before their next lecture starts, children sail small boats there, old people excel in the game of Pétanque.

Fontaine Médicis

How we went on with our trip is the matter of the next week’s article.

GPS: 48°50'57.9"N 2°20'31.2"E

 

Text and photo: Magdaléna Radostová



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