Monday, October 1, 2012

EUROPE 2012: DAY 1: PARIS A WALK TO THE LOUVRE!!!


We left our house on September 4th at 8am (US) to catch our flight to Europe. It consisted of leaving West Palm Beach Airport, traveling to Atlanta, Georgia and catching a connecting flight to Rome. When we arrived in Rome, we then took a connecting flight to Paris, arriving at 2:30 on September 5th but 8am (US). This route was the result of available flights to Rome and (a maybe not well thought out decision) to fly on to Paris. My idea, but partially based on the economics of flying into Rome and out of Paris. One of those seemed like a good idea at the moment!! 

The next morning we we started walking from our hotel, the Hilton Arc De Triomphe to the Louvre. Our idea was to follow the map while on the way see some of Paris and have breakfast at a small french cafe, just like in the movies!! As we started walking we saw the famous Arc De Triomphe in front of us. It is a striking monument! We spent a few minutes photographing it in the morning light as well as other images on the equally famous street, the Champs-Elysees. The location is what we call in the US a rotary. Traffic is constantly traveling around it. Lots of traffic!!!



We will have more on the Arc in a later post!!

We walked on looking for a cafe to have breakfast. Phyllis is standing in front of a cafe that was serving breakfast but I thought we should walk on to find seating outside!! I guess I saw too many of those movies with lovers sitting at a table on the Champs -Elysees in Paris. So we walked on. There had to be one right up the street, right???


In my life I have been lucky enough to have visited many great places within the USA and in other countries. There are times when we will go around a bend in the road or just look up and see something that makes me stop while a childlike wonder invades my body. Seeing Mount Ranier suddenly looming in front of us,  the waterfalls on the road to Hana, the Coliseum, the Sistine Chapel or the corner of Broadway and Liberty in New York on a very sad day are all examples of these moments in time!!

For a man who was raised in Revere, Massachusetts during the 50s, 60 and 70s and saw all those movies, Paris and Italy provided many of those moments. Some are small moments like seeing a street sign that you have heard about all your life and realizing you are walking on this famous street.



 Seeing a statue of Charles de Gaulle, remembering him walking  
 just like this in the procession that took JFK's body to his final  
 resting place.



Then there are the big ones, like crossing a street on to a bridge and seeing the Eiffel Tower for the first time!! The bridge being the Alexandre Bridge!!




It really was an amazing sight seeing it looming over the Seine River like that. Then you think that this is the famous Seine river, damn!!! 

We will do more on the Tower in another post also but now on to the breakfast and the Louvre. That French cafe has to be right up the street, has to be !!

But before we walk on, one more picture with Phyllis standing there!! Someday Phyllis is going to tell me where to put my camera !!


As many of you might remember I like to shoot candids by walking down the street with my camera literally on my hip. Photographing from this angle is challenging and fun! Sometimes you get an interesting perspective!!



Sometimes you capture a moment you did not see happening!! This is one such moment!! I did not see this till we were back home and I was on my IMac. I am not sure what is exactly happening here. Either these two are 'really' good friends or the worst pickpocket, 'ever'!!


 
On we walk, now about 1.5 hours, with nothing in our stomachs. Well, I did have a large bottle of water which is not helping around this time. Walking by all the water fountains doesn't help a guy either !! I mean beautiful but I do not need running water in front of me!!



Finally relief, we found this large pool and a welcome sight it was!! NO, not that !!!


Sitting around it were people eating food. There must be a cafe around here!!!



 Looking around I saw a lovely oasis. People eating around a table 
 under trees in a park setting!!



Finally we had our French cafe. We both had a great meal. I guess you would call it brunch, by now!! I also had my first real cup of expresso in nearly nineteen years. We ate quiche with a green salad, one of my favorite meals on the trip. That might have to do with the fact that we were very hungry!!



Now on to the Louvre!! We walked through a beautiful garden area with some statues. I thought it was funny that the bird was mirroring the couple on the chairs.



This is very close to the Louvre and not the Arc De Triomphe. It is the Arc De Triomphe Carroussel and was built Napoleon at the same time as the larger more famous Arc!



The Louvre Pyramid is a large glass and metal pyramid, surrounded by three smaller pyramids in the main courtyard of the Louvre Palace!! The large pyramid serves as the main entrance to the Louvre Museum. Completed in 1989 it has become a landmark of the city of Paris. After a 2.5 mile walk we finally arrived at the Louvre!!!

    
           Some scenes from the Louvre Courtyard.







     The view riding down the escalator to the Louvre Museum!!



The next post; our visit to the Louvre!! It's an amazingly wonderful place!!!

6 comments:

Martha J. M. Orlando said...

Oh, Jim, you took me on this journey with you through your photos! I am already looking forward to more of your amazing experiences in Europe.
Thanks for allowing us all to join in on this trip. We are so blessed!
Blessings to you and Phyllis always!

melissa said...

Thank you very much for sharing this post. It's more than the images and colors that emerged while I read this. I felt what you wrote on 'walking the same road' as the famous people we just only read in history and travel mags. Europe gives me this 'feel'. And you haven't touched Italy yet :P

I truly enjoyed this adventure :D And it's wonderful to become a part of it.

* Loved Phyllis there and the B&W with that lone colored figure :) I'm very happy France had a great weather. Louvre, the Arc are magnificent!

pamanner said...

Ohhh so lovely! Thank-you for sharing!

jan neel said...

Oh Jim what wonderful photos, you have taken me for a fantastically memorable walk. Thank you, I love the guy with his hand in the other fella's pocket, priceless.

PORTIA said...

Dear Jim,
your photos are always a treat to the eyes! I had visited Louvre last year but your way of capturing beauty of even mundane things made me see those things once again in a wonderful new light!
-Portia

nelmitravel.com said...

So envious Jim! What a beautiful day to walk the streets of Paris! We watched the movie "Midnight in Paris" and now I want to go back! Lovely photos!