Paris – Snails rails and peds

Posted by jerry on June 13th, 2007 — Posted in Journal, Travel

What is Paris? My guess is it’s more Amelie than Da Vinci Code – at least in Spring. In this city I’ve seen more kisses per square km than any other. The art Nouveau apartment buildings are lit by window boxes bursting with flowers. The narrow cobbled side streets reveal Smart cars parked like shopping trolleys and the pavements are packed with scooters and mopeds. Every corner has a cafe filled with the aroma of fresh baguettes, coffee, cigarettes and the sound of people talking like a bite of chocolate just melted down their throat.

Paris 2007

For some it’s the sense of history epitomised by the Louvre with the contrast turned up. Some are not keen on Pei’s glass pyramid entrance, while others are intrigued at the inverted pyramid beneath.

Paris 2007

But it’s not where you think it is.

And the Venus de Milo, considered by some to be perfect, stands in the shadow to one side. The back is quite roughly finished so it’s clearly designed for a niche rather than all-round viewing. It is certainly striking, as are the three Graces.


Three Graces

For me it’s about the people – friendly, spontaneous, a little chaotic – like their streets, but always stylish.


The metro subway system is easy to use and fairly clean, and the pneumatic tyres on the trains make them surprisingly quiet. At the right time of day the stations can be almost deserted.

metro station

Many of the stations retain the art nouveau signs and lights designed by Hector Guimard that lend form to function in a wonderfully organic way.

Paris metro

The Sunday street market at Port du Vannes is a delight whether you are looking for antiques or buttons and beads

Paris market

But for many – this is the quintessential Paris icon

Eiffel Tower

According to the lift operator there can be up to three marriage proposals per hour on top of the Tower. At the turn of last century this was where pioneer aviator Santos Dumont used to tie up his personal dirigible!

More soon on this delightful place.


1 Comment

Comment by Allison

I would travel all the way to Paris just for this button stall…sigh…
Thanks for the tour, Jerry!

Posted on June 14, 2007 at 10:45 am

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