Bonjour, everyone. (Yes, now I am fluent in French--French salutations, that is!) :)
We went to Paris at the end of February, and we loved it. It reminds me of an older, cleaner, smaller, more laid-back New York. I already want to go back.
We stayed at the beautiful Hotel Saint Merry. The building is connected to a church (the Saint Merry cathedral), and the rooms are in the parish. It was a quiet, beautiful place, in a nice area near cafes and shops. Here's the exterior.
The first night we were there, we went to the Eiffel Tower. Here's what we saw as we were walking up to it through the nearby neighborhood. We just rounded a corner, and there it was.Here's the view from the top. You can see the Seine River in the middle. (The "laser beam"-looking lights are spotlights coming from the Eiffel Tower, not aliens.)
Here we are on the top. Too bad we (or at least I) look so jet-lagged.
Anyway, we were staying in Le Marais district. This area is just north of the Seine, across the water from Notre Dame. We were down the street from Hotel de Ville (which means "city hall"), pictured below.
There was a beautiful antique carousel in front of Hotel de Ville.
We were just a couple of blocks away from the river. Here's the view from the water, before sunset.And the view at sunset (notice the Eiffel Tower's "laser beam," mentioned above).
Speaking of sunsets, when the sun goes down in Paris, the sky turns a pinkish red shade I've never seen before. Tres magnifique! This photo doesn't even do it justice.
We saw a classical concert at Palias Garnier, the famous Paris opera house. No exaggeration: it was the prettiest, most ornate building I've ever set foot in. Also, the Palais Garnier, with its huge chandelier and underground lake, was the inspiration for the story The Phantom of the Opera (originally a novel). Here we are inside.Here's the view across the room from our seat (including half of the famous chandelier).
We went to two museums while we were in Paris: the photography museum and the history museum. The latter is housed in a 16th century mansion. Here's a view of the courtyard.Of course, we went to Notre Dame!
And we also found the Roman ruins on St. Michel. Can you believe how old these are? Romans built them!
And here is the subway stop (in Montmartre) that is featured prominently in the film Amelie.
Here's a funny label from a record store we went to.
And there's something really adorable to me about this warning sign.