France, Spring, 2015

Eiffel TowerWe started in Paris. Of course.

Locating our apartment was the first test. Maps are so easy to read; streets so hard parse. But in getting there I had my first conversation in French, a win! We’re perfectly located, 2 blocks from the Louvre, but oh, the tiny bathroom. Impossible to pick up soap in the shower without opening the door; on the john, your knees almost hit the wall.

Jet lagged, we opted to spend the first day on the hop-on, hop-off bus. Up top, it was 55 and cold. Still, it’s a good way to be reminded of the city’s glories.

This view of the Eiffel Tower reminds me more of a fat dowager than the slim bon vivant that’s its usual image.
Notre DameWe did a little hopping off. At Notre Dame, the gargoyles were standing guard.

So, that’s the Paris one expects. Now for some shots of lesser known treasures. For some reason, the French have a fetish for square trees, which is very formal. I prefer the tree tunnels on our own East coast, but then Americans are often deemed to be informal to the extreme.

champsSpeaking of formal trees, here’s a cluster on the lawn at the Army Museum, better known as Les Invalides. So named because it was a hospital and retirement home for soldiers. Napoleon is buried there under a gaudy gold dome. But I liked best the polite trees, standing on the lawn, behind the canons. Those canons were captured by Napoleon in a battle (which one I don’t remember – he fought many.) They were placed here and only fired on peaceful occasions. I found the trees hilarious. Pointy-headed busybodies!

InvallidesWe had lunch in a falafel joint (as a vegetarian, France is not as easy as Italy). Took us forever to find our way among the little streets. Our GPS balked; maybe couldn’t see because of the close-crowded buildings? Once we ate – tiny place on a street crowded with ethnic choices – it took us again a while to find our way back to a Hop On bus. pansies
We got off again at Jardins des Plantes, the Paris arboretum, where I took my favorite picture of the day: 2 nuns, color-matched with the gorgeous garden. In Italy I didn’t take enough pictures of people; I feel it intrusive. I swore I’d do better in France. This was my first attempt. I’m happy with it.

nuns
Over the next weeks, I’ll be posting pictures and stories from our trip: Paris and the Loire Valley (famous castles and, surprisingly, a zoo.) Hope you’ll join me.

Comments

  1. Kathy Birnbaum says:

    Thanks Teri…..I’ll be reading these in preparation for our trip in Sept……

  2. Nancy says:

    Beautiful pics. Now I need to read what you’ve written.

  3. Kerri Sandberg says:

    How wonderful, Terri! Great photo of the nuns in the garden. I can’t wait to read about the Loire Valley.

  4. I so want to go and see these sights for myself, but until I get there I really enjoy seeing them through your eyes. I like the nuns pic too. I’m kind of undecided about square trees, but the pointy ones are fun.

    • Terri says:

      Thanks all. Seems like France is the place to go. Linda, you’ll get there. When it comes time, let me know. I have a bunch of money saving tips.

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