Today we took the baby on the longest possible excursion you could ever go on on foot in Paris. While the day was beautiful and the tourist attractions were at their best, by the time Grammy left on Sunday I needed to stay in all day and nap with the baby. Let’s see if I can even begin to recount everything we did that day. We saw practically the whole city…mostly on foot. Silly. I’m going to just have to laundry list it…
First we headed back towards the Eiffel Tower to get on Le Bateau Mouche….the tourist’s standard boat ride up and down the Seine. The baby slept the whole hour. Some of what we saw…
When you get off of the metro and walk to the port d’Alma where the boat leaves you pass the Flame of Liberty which is an exact replica of the flame the Statue of Liberty holds up on the Hudson. Coincidentally, it is under this monument, in the tunnel that Princess Diana died in a car crash. It is such a morbid thing to point out, but it was brought to our attention over and over again…so…
The photo below is an aerial view of the Seine. This is the river that divides the city into its left and right banks. Rive Gauche, the left bank is known for being quite posh. Rive Droit is known for not being so posh…although, there are some pretty fancy pants areas Rive Droit as well.
Then there are les Ponts. Pont is the term for bridge in French and the Seine has many and they are (mostly) very beautiful and very old.
The first photo is of Pont Neuf , which means—New Bridge, even though it is the oldest bridge in Paris. We took another boat tour after Grammy left and the guide explained to us that the faces on Pont Neuf are carvings of criminals, shop vendors and dentists (!). That’s what she said.
The next photo is of Pont de Bir-Hakeim.
The photo below is of Pont Saint-Michel and has the big N’s on it (wonder who they stand for?).
And Pont de la Tournelle connects to the l’Ile St Louis (we’ll get to that later) and has a statue of St. Genevieve, the patron Saint of Paris who watches over all the Parisians (and hopefully the tourists too, but probably not if they don’t at least TRY to speak French). I would love to have a little girl and name her Genevieve. But Genevieve O’Donnell doesn’t really sound right, does it?
Here is a photo of St Genevieve a little closer.
Below is a photo of Pont des Arts. Couples buy padlocks and put their initials on them with a marker and then lock them onto this bridge hoping for eternal love. Michael and I were going to do that before we left, but then we found out that twice a year the police go and cut them all off and throw them away. So we figured, what’s the point? We both already know we’re stuck with each other anyway. Heh heh.
The next photo is a close up of some of the detail on Pont Alexandre III. This is the bridge I drove over a few nights before that connects to Invalides (Napolean’s tomb).
Lastly is a photo of Pont Royal that connects from Rive Gauche to the Louvre.
There are many more ponts than just the ones I’ve listed above, but I’m only one tiny lady with no research assistant, so google away if you’d like to learn about them all. I will tell you this little story though. There is a small bridge that I believe connects l’Ile St Louis and Rive Droit (?) and when you go under it on a boat you have to make a wish and kiss the person next to you. Michael and I both wished for the same thing and our wish came true the next day. !!
In between all the ponts you get to ogle old structures on the banks of the Seine. Some highlights below are the Conciergerie where Marie Antoinette (and many others) was held prisoner before she was executed.
The next photo is of Notre Dame de Paris which they started to build in the 1100s. I think it was finished in the 1300s.
In the summer along the edge of the Seine is the Paris-Plages, which is a beach made along the river for people to lounge around on when they’re not at a Knight’s house in the south of France. There is lots of fun playground equipment there for kids too.
Then there is the Musée d’Orsay which I’ll talk about in the next post.
So all of this was only one hour of our day…!!! I’ll try to crank through the rest of it in the next post—