Friday, 25 December 2015

Paris - where better to start?

We travelled to Europe via Dubai and chose to make Paris our first stop.  It's a beautiful city and we both love it.  This was our third visit, and it will probably be the last time we see it.  On each of our trips we've stayed in a different part of the city, and this time we stayed in the 4th district (the arty "Marais" district on "the Left Bank"), just a hundred metres from the Hotel de Ville, or City Hall.
The Hotel de Nice is a charming small hotel.  Just about every section of wall in the hotel carries paintings, prints or some other form of exhibit showing old Paris.  Our room on the second floor had a small balcony looking out across the adjacent square with a fine bakery.

Judy on the balcony of our room.
Woman in red on our balcony.

Foyer and stairs of Hotel de Nice.
Paris is a good city to see on foot, and that's exactly what we did - walk, walk, walk, and then catch the Metro to shift to another district and walk some more. 

The department store just a block along from our hotel was having an "English" Christmas promotion.  
Ho! Ho! - It's an English Christmas
The display windows had toys dressed in bright red guardsman uniforms, complete with the bearskin hats.  Some of the shop assistants were similarly dressed.

A gift-wrapped Mini loaded with presents - what
better way to depict an "English Christmas"?
 And now for a few shots taken as we roamed the city.

A charming cafe on a back street
Notre Dame - the "less photographed end"
The Paris Opera House
The St Michel Fountain - just a few paces from
where we came up from the Metro (underground)
and got our first views of Paris in 2009.

The Galleries Lafayette is a huge department store complex.  In the centre of one of the buildings is a huge glass domed atrium. Each year it is decorated for Christmas.  As in previous years the decorations have been stunning.

Here's a little bit of video - unfortunately heavily compressed to fit the restraints of the Blogging software.
No visit to Paris, even a repeat visits, would be complete without going to the Eiffel Tower.

The River Seine and the Eiffel
Tower from the Alexander Bridge

Carousel near the base of the tower.

Decorations in the corridors of a new shopping
mall beneath part of the Louvre Gallery

The Metro station beside the Louvre has one of
the few remaining old "Art Deco" style entrance signs.
If you look along the Champs Elysses and beyond the Arc de Triomphe you see the new arch of the La Defense business complex.  We had no idea that there was almost another city on the site.  The large arch was under repair so we were unable to visit the viewing platform on its rooftop.  The malls were very large and mainly devoted to upper-end shops.  The markets here were particularly good and many were devoted to gourmet food.

On each of the two evenings in Paris we got out and walked, enjoying the regular sights as well as those specially decorated for Christmas.
View from upstairs window of a cafe in the Opera district.

Same window, different angle.
Arc de Triomphe night.

Department store on the Champs Elysees

"Drive me for just 83 euro"

Looking down Champs Elysees
towards the Place de la Concord.

Evening in the markets along the Champs Elysees

The large wheel in the Place de la Concord
Paul and Judy
December 2015

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