Paris Monuments (and other non-museum sites)

22 May

I agree with the Parisians of 1889. I think the Eiffel Tower is ugly. There. I said it. I think figurines and drawings of the structure are far more attractive than the building itself. I opine that the Eiffel Tower is over-romanticized since it is such an iconic representation of the city of Paris.

Now that that is off my chest, I do think the story of the Eiffel Tower is interesting, and I did enjoy catching glimpses of it from afar while visiting other sites (like viewing it over the shoulder of The Thinker at the Rodin Museum).

If you don’t know the story of the Eiffel Tower, it was built for the 1889 World’s Fair, and was only supposed to stand for 20 years. The often overlooked radio antennae saved the tower from its fate when it aided in The Great War.

Foggy Eiffel Tower

Fun fact: Le Tour Eiffel is repainted every seven years, the same ugly shade of Eiffel Tower Brown each time.

Eiffel Tower

Anthony and I climbed the approximately 700 stairs to the second level where we took an elevator to the top.  Learn from our mistake:  If you intend on climbing the tower instead of riding the elevator from the ground to the top, do not do it on your first day in the city. Your legs will hate you the days that follow.

Sir Eiffel

Of all the places we visited, Sacre Coeur seemed to have the most tourist cheese, my favorite of all being those I affectionately dubbed the souvenir hustlers.

Sacre Coeur Montmarte

Sacre Coeur

The Arc de Triomphe was much larger than I ever imagined. We climbed (another) 300 stairs to enjoy my favorite view of the city. Pompidou, Galleries Layfayette, and Sacre Coeur had beautiful views, sure, but the view from the Arc was breathtaking.

Arc de Triomphe

We learned the day before we left that they hold a ceremony at the Arc each evening at 6:30. Next time…

Arc de Triomphe at Sunset

A serendipitous moment at Notre Dame. I guess Parisian birds like their picture taken.

Notre Dame

Notre Dame Stained Glass

In front of Notre Dame the star, pictured below, marks the geographical center of France.

Geographical Center of France

Behind Notra Dame, on Pont de L’Archeveche, Anthony and I added our love lock to the bridge and tossed the key into the Seine. I ordered an antique style lock before the trip and crudely attempted the stamp the iron with our monogram.

Our Love Lock

Obviously a lot of people love each other, and many lock are attached to other locks, but I was determined to find a space on the fence for our lock. I got a little weird about not wanting our love somehow being tied to or dependent on someone else’s love. I was also set on having a lock with a key, rather than a combination lock. That’s the point, isn’t it?

Love Lock Bridge Paris

Please, share stories of your adventures with me.

Thanks for reading,

♥ Dominique


4 Responses to “Paris Monuments (and other non-museum sites)”

  1. Kelli 22 May 2014 at 10:26 AM #

    Such beautiful shots you captured! My memories of Paris are so sensory–I remember the smells of the fresh pastries and the sounds of the language and the music. I have to say I loved clothes shopping in Paris. I still remember a sundress I bought there that I was absolutely smitten with. We drove there from Germany and the memory that stands out the most was having our car stolen! The police actually recovered it the next day and it had been hot wired!

    • gusto&grace 22 May 2014 at 10:28 AM #

      Stolen? Wow! You have to tell me all about where you went in Germany. That’s near the top of our list for possible next adventures.


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