Sunday, October 31, 2010

Bridges and quais

Sunday turned out to be a perfect fall afternoon. After church I decided to walk along the Seine and take pictures of all the bridges I passed along the way.Pont des InvalidesPont Alexandre III, the gaudiest bridge in Paris.A glimpse of the Pont Royale. I must confess I skipped a couple bridges here (the Pont de la Concorde and the Pont Sofferino.)Looking back at Pont du CarrouselPont des ArtsApparently newly engaged couples will come to the Pont des Arts to place a lock on it and then throw the key into the Seine. Pont Neuf and the tip of Ile de la CitéA closer shot of the Pont Neuf, the oldest bridge in Paris.Quai de ContiI crossed over Pont Neuf onto Ile de la Cité.I love this picture of the palais de justice from the back.Walking along the Ile de la Cité looking toward the Left Bank.The fall color is subdued here, but pretty nonetheless.Standing on the Pont St. Michel, looking toward the Petit Pont.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Michele's visit

I was lucky enough to have my sister come and visit for a fun-filled, jam-packed four days. Here is the recap of our time together.

Day 1:For Michele's first meal in Paris we went to a creperie in the 15th. We both had savory galettes and dessert crepes.Then we walked over to the 7th, passing La Tour Eiffel on the way. It was an absolutely glorious day.Our first museum: the musée RodinThe gardens and outdoor statuary were the highlight. We spent most of time inside the museum trying to understand the explanation of how the bronze casts were created. I don't think either of us gets it.Paris by Night bike tour. Riding around the courtyards of the Louvre at night was so exhilarating...The tour finished with a bateau mouche ride. It was chilly, but there were lovely views of the bridges and buildings along the Seine, as well as the sparkling Eiffel tower!

Day 2L'Arc de Triomphe We climbed three hundred steps to get this view of the Champs Elysées.Looking south towards the Tour Eiffel. The day started off gray but turned quite sunny later. We took the bus down the Champs Elysée and got off at the Tuileries to begin our museum visits.L'orangerie, where you are surrounded on all sides by Monet's water lilies.Place de la Concorde, where we shared a Frenchie-style hot dog for lunch (no ketchup or mustard, just lots of cheese melted on there.)Gathering our strength for another museum by drinking chocolat chaud à l'Africain at Angelina's on rue de Rivoli.The Louvre, where we lasted a couple of hours before heading to the Marais for dinner.A delightful meal at a very cozy restaurant right on the Place des Vosges. The menu was mostly French food but we were both craving pasta, so we had penne dishes...both excellent. In a very un-French way, our waiter volunteered to be in the photo with us.

Day 3: Our first stop (the Conciergerie) was closed due to an upcoming exhibit, so we went next door to Sainte Chappelle, where we waited in a very long security line in the rain.But once inside, the stained glass windows were gorgeous.Walking around the Latin quarter in the rain. The line to climb the towers of Notre Dame was long, so we went and got lunch instead after visiting the cathedral.The pantheon was closed due to the strikes. Damn that grève!After a little shopping in the latin quarter, we stopped and got a treat (a religieuse and a macaron) to eat in the Luxembourg gardens.We met up with aunt Lisa for some shopping around St. Germain. See those beautiful-colored gray skies in the background? We got poured on a few minutes later. We had dinner at Le Relais de l'Entrecote on blvd St. Germain. It's all-you-can-eat steak and frites, plus a salad. It was delicious--well worth waiting in the very long line!We wanted profiteroles for dessert, but someone else got the last one. Poor us--we had to settle for this "pyramide" of merinque and ice cream with chocolate sauce.

Day 4:The musee d'OrsayThe dome above Napoleon's tomb in Les Invalides. We blew through an exhibit of arms and armor (probably would have skipped this one if it hadn't been on our museum passes!)View from the Tour Eiffel. We were dismayed that the top was closed due to congestion and thought the view would be lame from the mere 2nd floor. When we got up there, we discovered it was plenty high enough and were quite relieved to have an excuse not to go all the way to the top.Sacre-Coeur. She looked awfully gray from afar (when looking at her from the Eiffel Tower or the top of the Arc de Triomphe) but up close she was a glowing pearly white.Walking around MontmartreOne of the two remaining windmills still standing in Montmartre (this one was built in 1717.)We were craving fondue so we asked a few people where we could get some in the quartier. One of them sent us to this place, where my dad and I ate 16 years ago. They're still serving wine in biberons (baby bottles) and delicious fondue, and you still have to climb over the tables to get to your spot if you're lucky enough to be the "jeune fille" sitting on the inside.We opted for the cheese fondue, although the meat looked equally delicious. Next time I plan to go with a group of at least 4 so we can have both!Our final treat of the visit: gelato at Amarino next to the Centre Pompidou.
Thanks for a wonderful visit, ma petite soeur!

Monday, October 25, 2010


There's nothing like a beautiful sunset to make you very homesick.Since my sister's four day trip to Paris ended today, I'm too sad to post any pictures from our visit.Here are some pictures I took the evening before she came. Opéra Garnier
View from the Pont de la Concorde