December 7th, 2018 and December 8th, 2018
Recap + Travel Photography
2018 has been a great year for me, and, as a result, I was able to spend some of its final days with my family in the beautiful city of Paris, France. What started as an idea at lunch on Easter Sunday turned into a great pre-Christmas vacation in one of the world’s most historic cities. It also allowed me to do some extensive travel photography. Myself, my mother, my sister, and her husband all hopped on a plane on December 6th, crossed the Atlantic, and touched down at Charles de Gaulle Airport early in the morning of December 7th. The sky was still dark as we departed the airport for the city, but one of the first key landmarks we saw as we entered the heart of Paris was the Arc de Triomphe. The monument stood as a great reminder of where we were and what we were about to experience. Our hotel, the Citadines Apart’hotel Saint-Germain-des-Pres Paris, couldn’t have been in a better location. It was nestled right on the southern banks of the Seine in the 6th Arrondismhent and the Saint-Germain area of the city. The very friendly hotel staff welcomed us to Paris, and we soon began an exploration of our surroundings as we waited for ours rooms to be ready.
The first place we visited on the cool but lovely gray Friday was just a small walk down from our hotel. It was the historic and beautiful Notre Dame Cathedral. Seeing the impressive structure on the outside was only matched by seeing the intricate and highly skilled craftsmanship that went into constructing the interior of the cathedral. We took our time to enjoy and witness as much as we could inside Notre Dame before continuing our day. Since we had such a long flight, a quick meal at a nearby cafe was a needed item on the agenda. That was followed up by a taxi to the most iconic site of Paris, the Eiffel Tower.
We decided to visit the Eiffel Tower on our first day of the trip for a couple of reasons, mostly, though, because the area was going to be closed on the next day due to the ongoing demonstrations happening in Paris. That being said, seeing the Eiffel Tower was a great follow-up to visiting Notre Dame. The structure is so much more impressive in person. Its size and scope can’t really be described properly unless you witness it for yourself. The wrought iron monument from the late 19th century just dominates its surroundings, and you cannot take your eyes off of it when you visit. I took so many variations of photos of the Eiffel Tower that I almost made a post just for images of the landmark. To close out our first day in Paris, we had a wonderful meal at Brasserie Les Deux Palais, a local restaurant not far from the hotel. The staff was friendly and attentive, and everyone had a great culinary experience.
Our second day in Paris, December 8th, called for a bit of an audible in our planning. The previously mentioned demonstrations were taking place, and they forced closure of a number of landmarks and attractions in the city. Our hotel staff was very on top of things in making sure we were aware not to visit the places where the demonstrations were taking place. Contrary to popular belief, they did not overtake the entire city. Things were concentrated in and around the Champs-Elyees. That is why we decided to spend the day south of the Seine with a tour around the Saint-Germain area. We toured the local storefronts and shops in the area while also taking in mass at Saint-Germain-des-Pres, the oldest church in Paris. Other than hearing the sirens of police cars heading towards the central portion of the city and seeing a few people in yellow vests, you really couldn’t tell a demonstration was happening across the river.
The day of exploration on December 8th was somewhat needed after the long flight and arriving on December 7th. It allowed us to recharge a bit and slow down the pace. That was important because days 3 and 4 of our trip, December 9th and 10th, were going to go full blast. We had a lot of important spots in Paris to see in those two days, and we wanted to make sure we didn’t miss anything. Those two days and the photos from those explorations will be coming soon. Until then, though, do enjoy these photos from our experiences in Paris on day 1 and day 2 of our visit. I’ve tried to present a mix of landmarks and slice of life moments from our walks in the city.
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Part 2 of this travelogue can be found by visiting https://www.dsmithscenes.com/blog/paris-france-travel-photography-2018-2.