Thursday, September 15, 2011

Paris Diary (Aug-Sep 2011) Page 2 The Seine and the Notre Dame

 When anyone says the word "Seine", the first image that comes to mind is "bridge", and that's because no less than 37 functional bridges can be found over this beautiful river.  The best way of admiring these bridges, some of which are extremely ornate and beautiful is to take a cruise down the river in a Batobus. If possible try to do it at night so you can see the "City of Light" in all her glory.

One of the oldest bridges in Paris "Pont de Neuf"

The beautiful Alexandre Pont III Bridge (above and below) is perhaps the most ornately decorated of all the Paris bridges.  The beautiful detail took my breath away.  The bridge was built to commemorate the friendship between France and Russia and was named after Tsar Alexander

"Love padlocks" on the Pont des Arts Bridge (one that links the Notre Dame to the Left Bank).  Each of these locks bears the name of a couple in was really fun to see some of the names and read the messages of love eternal! :)  When your river boat passes under this bridge you will be asked to make a wish and to kiss the person to the right of you....apparently your wish will come true if this is your first visit to Paris.  Needless to say I did it!!!  

I once read that every Parisian is in a relationship.  To be single is to be a loser. I guess that tells me every Parisian is an eternal romantic...perhaps that also will explain why it is so common to see so many kissing couples all around the city!

 Getting ready for the night cruise on the River Seine...Paris is absolutely gorgeous at night with just about every building all lit up.

La Conciergerie: The building where Queen Marie-Antoinette was imprisoned while she awaited execution. 

The Notre Dame at night and a group of Parisians spending their evening on the Seine. Look
to the left of the picture and you will see one of them waving to us.  Little groups of people hang out
by the Seine all through the day but it is at night when the area comes to life with little bonfires, guitar playing, cook outs....we even saw a Tango dance competition taking place.  This is where all of Paris seems to come to for a little R &R.

The Notre Dame from the Pont des Arts Bridge.  Of all the buildings in Paris I was most excited to see the Notre Dame ( I suppose you could blame Victor Hugo and his "Hunchback of Notredame" for that). The day we visited this ornate church was a very rainy day. The sky was perpetually overcast and grey and the colours of the pictures reflect the weather...sadly.

The famous South "Rose Window" facade of the Notre Dame...the darn thing is 43ft high!

Notre Dame detail...can you spot some of the gargoyles?  These gargoyles are actually rainspouts!  Stay tuned for the gargoyles made famous by the Hunchback of Notredame.

Voila, here are the famous Notre Dame gargoyles (some of them at least). I must be honest and tell you this not my pic (courtesy Euro travelogue) but I borrowed it because what is a photo blog about the Notre Dame if you don't have gargoyles in them? I could have had my own picture if I was prepared to walk up the 387 steps to the top of the South Bell tower but after walking 10 kms all around Paris on a daily basis,believe me I had no energy for the climb.  They are beautiful, aren't they? The next time I will get up close and personal with them!

Well, this concludes page 2 of my Paris Diary.  I hope you're enjoying the walkabout through Paris with me.  Most of the photos were taken by my daughter but with two different cameras. One was a regular 'point and click' and the other, a Nikon D5000.


ImageNations said...

beautiful pictures and an excellent guide through Paris. I am enjoying these pictures. I followed another friend on her blog as she journeyed through Paris. Looks like it's the place to be.

06483 Moving Service said...

Historical Gargoyles would make the city trip more remembering.

Lotus Reads said...

Hey thanks Nana! After I returned from Paris I could ask myself only one question: Why, oh why didn't I go there sooner? You know, if there was ever a way to match up person and city depending on certain characteristics or qualities the two had in common, I would say Paris would be my city and the Parisians, my people...I feel at one with them, strange thing to say especially as this was my first ever visit to the city. Have you felt that way about any city yet?

karmic said...

Enjoying this tour of Paris through your eyes.
My compliments to the photographer!
Glad that you feel Paris is your kind of city. Now where does that leave Mumbai? ;-)
But I hear you!
Most European cities are bike friendly no?
Would love to have your impressions about the food too!
Thank you for sharing these pics.