Paris 2013 - Here and There
Like most European cities, the best way to explore Paris is to walk around. Bring sensible walking shoes. These are some of the interesting things I saw during my explorations around the City.
Paris is often considered the most romantic city in the World, and there is probably no other place more romantic then Pont des Arts - a pedestrian bridge which connects the Palais du Louvre and the Institut de France across the River Seine. Here, lovers hoping for eternal love seal their oath of devotion to each other by writing or carving their names onto a padlock, hook it to the chain-link balustrade and throw the keys into the river. The city is not too pleased as they have to clear the river of rusting keys once in a while, but they do leave the padlocks alone.
The bridge also play host to budding musicians and it is a great place to catch a spontaneous performance.
I saw this Charlie Chaplin look-a-like near the Musee d'Orsay. He was very good !
A jazz band performed in front of the Musee d'Orsay. They were fantastic and sounded completely authentic and American. The girl was a great jazz singer. I would buy their album !
Along the banks of the River Seine you see lots of green boxed bolted to the low walls. When they are opened up they become pop-up shops selling all kinds of things from paintings to old photos and knick-knacks. It is a bargain hunter's paradise.
As you wonder around the city you will bump into lots of bakeries and pastry shops. They all look wonderful and irresistible.
The specialty meat shops in Paris are just as tempting as the pastry shops. Just look at the amazing selection of premium chicken and pheasants. And the care they put into preparing the products before putting them up for sale is wonderful to watch.
When I visited Place Saint-Michel there was a demonstration against violence in the Middle-East. Unlike most Asian countries which would have put a stop to the demonstrators immediately, here they let the people exercise their democratic rights.
The streets in the Latin Quarter is very atmospheric and great for aimless wandering.
Remember the restaurant in Ratatouille ? It is modeled after this restaurant - La Tour D'Argent, the Grande Dame of French Cuisine and famous for its pressed duck which is served with the blood of the duck squeezed out using a special press. Must try it one of these days. It is in the Latin Quarter, a little bit South-East of the Notre Dame.
When I walked from the Place de la Concorde to the Notre Dame, it was indeed a beautiful day. First it was sunny and beautiful, then it became dark and cloudy and started to rain. Then it rained hail stones ! Just when I thought I was going to miss seeing Notre Dame in the sunset, the sun came out and it was beautiful again ! And then a double rainbow appeared above the River Seine. What a perfect day !