Last weekend I went to Paris. Some people at work went for a business meeting south of Paris last Wednesday and spent weeks trying to plan it – it’s very hard to hear “There’s a plane at this time for this price” and “we could take the train at that time” and so on for several days without deciding you want to go, even if you don’t actually like Paris very much. But that’s a story for another day (first week of February, I think, if you’re interested). There will be more posts coming on the subject of this little weekend.
Today is a photographic tour of my weekend in Paris.
5.30am and I’m having breakfast at the airport.
Getting off the plane in the fog in Paris
The RER arrives to take me into Paris.
Dropped off my luggage at my hotel, right down in the far south-east corner of Paris.
First stop, let’s go and visit Notre Dame.
I’d forgotten the Opera Garnier existed and it’s spectacular.
The RER A is a double-decker train! Running straight under the city!
The Arc de Triomphe is unbelievably huge. It doesn’t really come across in photos but it’s gigantic. And watching the traffic is very distracting.
I went up the Arc de Triomphe and although the views were good, I remembered why I’d chosen not to go up the Eiffel Tower in these weather conditions
Not planning to go up the Eiffel Tower didn’t mean not planning to go and see the Eiffel Tower.
I went out to see the sights by night for the first time.
I took advantage of a three zone travel pass to go out to La Defense and see the Grande Arche, at the west end of a straight line that goes from the Pyramid at the Louvre, through Place de la Concorde, through the Arc de Triomphe and up to here.
The Eiffel Tower looked a lot closer in real life than it does in this photo, taken from the top of Galeries Lafayette, one of the best free views of the city rooftops.
And Galeries Lafayette is pretty spectacular on the inside too.
I arrived at the Eiffel Tower just in time to catch its hourly sparkling light show.
Even in the evening in January, I queued for the best part of an hour to get into and then up the Eiffel Tower. Great views though, especially in the dark.
On Sunday morning I went to Sacre Coeur – it was sunny at last!
I got my first ever glimpse of the famous Moulin Rouge – from a moving bus on my way from Montmartre back into central Paris.
With my impending flight home uppermost in my mind, I messed up here and walked the really long way round from Les Halles to the Pompidou Centre and got stressed. But I found it!
And then it was time to fly home.