25 July 2010

Ah Paris!

Paris is the city for Lovers, and Walkers!
Yesterday after arriving in Paris, I simply walked for 5 hours. I had no plan really. I went out the door of my hotel, looked left, looked right, and decided to walk left. To the Tuileries, I thought, and beyond!

Well as with all good things, one thing led to another and I walked through the Palais Royal, the Louvre area, the Tuileries, along the Seine toward Sainte-Chapelle and Notre Dame. I continued past the picnickers to the Isle de la Cite, across to the island of Ile St Louis for gelato and more street musicians. I walked along the blocks of cafes on Rue Louis Philippe reading the menu boards for fun. Through the trendy art area near Place des Vosges, and finally caught the metro back to my hotel. Whew.
The night was filled with street musicians and picnickers along the bank of the River Seine. Cafes overflowed with the clanking of glasses and chatter. Customers stood 15 deep in line for gelato in perfect weather in Paris. The gardens were in bloom and as people sat relaxing, taking photos, and visiting, it was amazing to feel the energy of this city. I marvel at how Paris was designed for people to come outside and enjoy it fully.
Out my hotel doorstep (a quiet street in Paris!)
There were lots of bikes out and people riding them everywhere. They have a very popular bike sharing network here, and people use the bikes!:
Images from the Louvre / Tuileries:
Everywhere people were sitting in the gardens, on benches and chairs, on the ground (everywhere) ... watching the people go by ... I had to join in. So I found an open chair and relaxed along with them:
Guess they didn't have to lock this bike up:
 Images along the Seine (sightseeing tour boats and picnickers):
 I loaded up on tons of gifts (kidding, there is just something so odd about tacky souvenirs!)
Back to the real sites of Paris (Notre Dame):
Party down by the river! These people were all singing out loud together. With others playing Bocce ball.
I love Paris!