Friday, I decided to venture out and wander around the city again. It was a beautiful day to be out, too. I took the Batobus around, which is a sort of ferry boat that travels around the Seine River and makes stops at all of the main tourist destinations along the Seine. It was a much better deal than getting a boat tour, because with a day pass, you can board and disembark as many times as you want.
It was a beautiful day for a boat ride down the Seine River.
View of the Canal Académie
After I hopped off the Batobus, I started walking along the Seine to the Pont des Arts, which is better now known as the “Love Locks Bridge”. People started attaching locks inscribed with the names of themselves and their lovers to the chain linking on the bridge, and afterward throwing the key into the river as a symbol of their unbreakable love. Although there are other bridges that have also started this trend, this is the original/ most famous one. Apparently now it’s estimated there are over 700k locks on this bridge! There were definitely street people selling locks for this purpose, hovering around the area.
Here is a news video explaining a bit more about the collapse: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XyXuE-nJuec
After I stopped to see the Pont des Arts, I started walking back toward St-Germain-des-Prés, aka the adorable 6th arrondissement.
I happened upon the galerie of the famous French photographer Yann Arthus-Betrand (how appropriate!) and had to take a pic…well not only because I recognized the name, but also because it had the street address on it so I’d remember where I had walked, because I knew I wouldn’t completely remember months after the trip! Clever, non?!
After I was done eating lunch, I started walking further down Rue de Buci. I stopped to look at some stuff on the street (such as the signs below). As I was browsing, along down the street came a man walking his little dog.
Though he was speaking French, I could easily understand that he was pretty perturbed with the dog, and fairly unreasonably so! He was chastising the dog almost as if the dog were human. Ok, ok, most of us animal lovers have probably spoken to our pets as if they are human at some point in time or another.
But, this guy was really chastising the dog in such a way that it was very clear he was being ridiculously unreasonable….it was almost as if he was chiding the dog for embarrassing him, as if he’d patronize a real person, as if the dog had seriously offended his sensibilities and hurt his feelings! It was SO hilarious (more so than I can convey here) that even the man and woman who were the shop proprietors and standing in the doorway looking out at the happenings, both looked at each other, and then looked at me, and we all made eye contact and it was immediately and implicitly understood that we all had the same thought (even though I didn’t speak the language very well): “this guy is really nuts!!” and then after he had passed all three of us burst out laughing because it was just SO absurd the way he was speaking to this dog! Really I can’t describe how out of the realm of normal pet owner talk it was.
Notre-Dame de Paris was among the first buildings in the world to use the flying buttress (arched exterior supports).
It was warmer out this day, so I stopped in a little café to get a little refreshing drink. I ordered the limonade, and this is what I got…nothing but “pschitt!” haha!
Le Cathédrale Notre Dame was such a popular tourist destination (on a Friday at least) that the by the time I arrived in the afternoon, the line was far too long for me to have any motivation to go inside. I’m sure it was quite beautiful inside too though!
Near Notre Dame on the Île-de-la-Cité I visited this memorial Mémorial des Martyrs de la Déportation (Memorial of the Deportation).
I wandered across to the Île Saint-Louis, walked down the Rue Saint-Louis en l’Île, which has some cute shops.
A few more pics of walking around the Seine near the Eiffel Tower.
This next picture so wonderfully captures the essence of the city of love and lights.
View of the Eiffel Tower from Pont de l’Alma :
And so the sun sets on another beautiful day in Paris.