Notre Dame

Given today’s events, it seemed appropriate to post a photo of Notre Dame. We have been fortunate enough to visit Paris twice, both times making a stop at Notre Dame. I don’t have photos of Notre Dame I would consider great, both visits were part of busy days that were more focused on enjoying the city than taking a ton of time to get the perfect photo, but I like this photo taken from the back of the cathedral. Taken from the back and surrounded by greenery, it gives a more peaceful relaxing feel to the photo, hiding the fact that the front of the cathedral was swarming with tourists. It is sad knowing that taking this photo isn’t possible now, but I’m sure once the iconic structure is rebuilt, it will as impressive as it is in the many photos being shared today.

Notre Dame in Paris, France, viewed from the back of the cathedral

Desserts of Paris

A couple months ago, I posted a photo of a delicious cherry tart from Stohrer Patisserie in Paris. Just looking at that photo makes me hungry. Here is another photo from that same night, our collection of “winnings” on display. Each of the three tarts was absolutely delicious and macarons were quite good, too. Personally, I think a buffet of desserts is a great way to finish a visit to Paris.

Pastries from Stohrer Patisserie in Paris, France

Eagles of the Ramparts

This photo was taken in Provins, France, a medieval tourist town outside Paris. Among the attractions is the “Eagles of the Ramparts” show, which showcases the history of falconry in the area. The birds were amazing, the falconers were amazing, and the show was enjoyable even though it is in entirely in French. The composition of this photo was largely luck because there was so much happening during the show and everything happened so quickly, but I like how the bird’s wing disappears out of the corner of the photo and the empty space on the left side in the direction they are moving.

Impressive bird with its falconer during the Eagles of the Ramparts show in Provins, France.

Reflections in Bassin Octogonal

This photo was taken in Jardin des Tuileries in Paris. At the west end of the garden is Bassin Octogonal, which in the right conditions provides a beautiful reflection of the obelisk of Place de la Concorde, with Arc de Triomphe off in the distance. The garden is a little more peaceful during the evening than during the daytime and the soft light of the early evening can make for a beautiful scene. In general, Paris is a beautiful city both during the day and at night, so if you ever visit the city, don’t wear yourself out so much exploring during the day that you don’t have energy to explore the city at night.

Reflection of the obelisk in Place de la Concorde in the early evening

The Eiffel Tower bathing in warm afternoon light

I’m sure there have been millions of photos taken of the Eiffel Tower (or Tour Eiffel, if you prefer). The iconic landmark dominates the Paris cityscape from almost anywhere in the center of Paris, unless you’re in the Eiffel Tower itself. Most who visit Paris want to climb (or take the elevator up) the Eiffel Tower, and it is a great experience. While the views from the top are quite nice, the views aren’t quite as good as those from other spots in Paris, since they are lacking…the Eiffel Tower. This photo was taken from the top of the Arc de Triomphe, one of the better sites in Paris from which to get a good view of the Eiffel Tower, and it is also conveniently included in the Paris Museum Pass. I like how the lines of clouds are cutting across the background and the warmth of the scene due to the late afternoon sun.

The Eiffel Tower in the warm afternoon sun as seen from the top of the Arc de Triomphe.

Quiet streets of Provins

Provins is a medieval town a couple hour train ride outside of Paris, France. The town is a relatively large tourist attraction so it can be a little busy during the summer but the character of the town is well worth the visit and it is easy enough to escape the crowds and find a little peace and quiet to enjoy the charm of the town.

Empty street in the small medieval town of Provins, France.

Fontainebleau from the garden

Château de Fontainebleau is a large, opulent palace located approximately 30 miles south of Paris, France. The inside of the palace is filled with room upon room filled with over-the-top furnishings unlike anything I have ever seen. The palace is a popular tourist site, though not as popular as nearby Versailles, so the crowds are manageable. The gardens of the palace are massive. While the gardens are not as impressive as the inside of palace, these trees served as a nice frame for a photo of the palace from across the gardens.

Photo of the Château de Fontainebleau from the gardens.

The town that is no more

This photo was taken in Moret-sur-Loing, France, which was about an hour outside Paris. I say was because the town no longer exists, not because it was wiped away by a natural disaster or anything like that, it simply merged with a neighboring town and the new town changed its name to Moret-Loing-et-Orvanne. And apparently this happened before I visited and I did not even know. Anyway, the town is very picturesque and was an inspiration to many famous painters, including Monet, Renoir, and Sisley. The town features a medieval gate at either end of the old town and just outside the gate on the east side there is a river with a nice walkway that provides some stunning views. This photo was taken with a Motorola cell phone that is now several years old. I also took a couple photos with my much more capable DSLR, but somehow the photo taken with my phone came out better. Regardless of the name, this town has a lot of charm, as you can hopefully see from this photo.

The river flowing along the edge of the old town in Moret-sur-Loing.

Streets of Èze

Èze

Èze is a small medieval village on the southern coast of France. The “streets” going through the old part of town are narrow and for pedestrians only, which adds to the charm of the village. In addition, the garden at the top of the village has a nice collection of cacti and features stunning views of the Mediterranean Sea below. Èze is easily accessible from both Nice and Monaco and has become a popular tourist destination.

Do Not Delete

This photo was taken while wandering the streets of Èze. Luckily, it wasn’t very busy the day we visited, so I was able to get some nice photos without people in them. Unfortunately, this was 9 years ago and my photo editing skills were not as good back then as they are now. There are some things I wish I could go back and do differently with this photo but I foolishly deleted the original files after editing the photo and there is only so much that can be done with the JPEG file. Be smarter than I was my fellow photographers, save your RAW files, at least for your good shots, because someday you may want to go back and re-edit old photos and it is a lot better to have the RAW files to work with. That said, I still like this photo and feel like it captures the essence of Èze really well.

Photo of the medieval town of Èze, located in southern France, showing the charming old buildings and narrows streets.

Walking Paris

Getting Around Paris

One of the great things about Paris is how easy it is to get around the city. The city is very walk-able and, like most major cities in Europe, has a great metro/bus system. While we were there we purchased the weekly pass (actually two of them since we were there over parts of two weeks) which not only covered transportation within the city but also to and from the airport, a couple train trips to small towns over an hour outside the city, and the train to Disneyland Paris, nearly an hour outside the city. At a little over $50 for the two weeks, it was an absolute steal. We also did lots of walking but so many of the sights (e.g., Louvre, Fontainebleau) require a lot of walking just to see them, so using public transit made the long days a little more manageable.

The Dog Walking Dog

I’ve seen many people walking dogs before but this was a first. On our way to the metro station near our hotel one morning, we saw a dog walker who had about half a dozen dogs. Well, the dog walker was walking about four dogs, while these two were doing their own thing. I wonder how you train a dog to walk another dog…

One dog being walked by another dog in Paris, France.