The Champs are over there.

Paris, the J&K tour

We worked up a gameplan for the day. It started off by heading down to the Henri Cartier-Bresson museum, since he’s the grandfather of the decisive moment and all, and was based in Paris for a long time. We finally managed to work our way through the Metro system to get to the stop near the museum but then we couldn’t find the dang thing. Eventually we happend to find it and learn that there was a temporary exhibit by a Japanese photographer and that only 12 of HBC’s prints were up on the top floor of the three floor building. I was a little bummed, but it was still cool to see some real prints from the legend.

After that, we stopped and grabbed some lunch on a patio before heading to Tour Montparnasse. It’s the tallest building in Europe supposedly. We figured it was the second best option to the Tour Eiffel, with the elevator issues and all. We made it to the top and it was a great view. The rooftop is on what would be the 58th floor. The views were great through the plexi. I had found a couple of features on my new Canon P&S, so I was playing with those a bit – the mini effect and toy camera look.

After heading down from the top, we walked over to the Luxemburg Gardens. Second largest park in Paris. This park was very cool. Since it was Saturday, there were tons of people about. In the main pond/fountain were little sailboats that are controlled purely by winds and shoves from kids with bamboo sticks. Despite the big crowds, it was still quite pleasant to sit and watch everything. After a while in the park we hoofed it over to Notre Dame.

There was a bit of a line to get into the sanctuary, but it didn’t take long to get inside. It was amazing to me that it is still a functioning church with the tourism booby traps that were all over the outside and inside. As we left we walked down the northern side of the building to see the line for the towers. I don’t know that waiting three hours to look for Quasimodo would be worth it, honestly. But to each their own. I was just having fun shooting oddness from the hip on the Toy Camera setting on my P&S.

We then came upon a bridge with thousands of locks clamped onto the railings. Each one with names and or dates. We finally figured out that it was a love lock memorial of sorts. We didn’t have a lock with us, but I thought about writing our initials on someone else’s lock. Until I figured it would be bad luck. We moved on to find out what time a completely vegetarian restaurant opened for dinner. YUP, all veggies, all the time. Since 1978. We had more time to burn, so we decided to get a patio evaluation spot and spy on tourists over a bottle of wine. Everything was great. Not nearly as interesting people watching as we had had the night before, but still fun. Then our table neighbors, presumably from western Europe as they had a Germanic sounding language, ordered some white wine and then poured ice water into it – to soften it up a bit?  Might be like the Coors Light of wine, you never know.

Dinner at the restaurant was money. So good and jammed with all kinds of great flavor. Not worrying about what was in whatever you were ordering was a nice change. There were several tourists in there too. Not a lot of locals from what I could gather, but then again we were upstairs away from the front door. After dinner we jumped on the Metro back to the hotel. We were wiped out. Tomorrow would be a bit different day, watching Le Tour.

-JL

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