Paris! (Day 1)

The beginning of September always makes me antsy.  The winds of the change in seasons ripple over New England yet the trees haven’t turning yet and I just want to do…something. Something different preferably.  So when a friend posted on Facebook “Who wants to go to Paris with me next week?”  I jokingly responded “Yes?!?”

And then guess what happened?  I was on a plane from Logan Airport to Oslo, Norway and from there on to Paris.  Let’s just say that another friend had to bow out on the trip super last minute and I got an amazing deal that was too good to turn down.

Paris is every bit as amazing as you expect it to be.  We descended into the city flying through cotton candy pink clouds!

This was going to be a very short trip – we would be in the city for three days total – but I wanted to photograph every single thing that I could.  People ALWAYS ask me if I have photographs of Paris and I’ve always had to respond – no sorry, I’ve never been to Europe. Of course my last minute travel companion hadn’t planned to spend her three days in Paris finding things for me to photograph – some concession had to be made.

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“Signs: A Nuit A Paris”

The first photograph that I took of the city was using my phone – I like to Instagram my travels as a way for my friends and family to BE THERE with me in the moment.  This was right by the metro stop closest to the apartment that we were staying in.

Off we headed to stand in line to get into the Catacombs – this was one of my “musts” when seeing Paris and I was very sad that the lighting plus no tripod rule made it almost impossible to photograph down in the bowels of the city.  I yelled at a few American tourists who were ignoring the No Flash rule, too…because that’s who I am.  They do have one wall that obviously lit for those of us who want to photograph the bones.

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Skulls from the Catacombs

After pursuing the seedy gift shop with skull paraphernalia, we stopped for lunch at a bistro nearby.  We sat outside, drank red wine and discussed our plans for the next couple of days.  Even off season in September it was already obvious that we were going to have to wait in a lot of lines to do anything in the city, which was frustrating.  My friend really wanted to go to the top of Tour Eiffel and drink a glass of champagne on every floor – I would rather have bought a bottle of champagne and drank it while wandering around photographing in Pere Lachaise Cemetery.

But I’m a good sport and Tour Eiffel IS Paris – I decided to tag along and intentionally routed us to a Metro stop across the Seine for the “better view” of the tower.   I was antsy still, this was touristy to the max and I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to get a photo of the tower without the swarm of people at its base.

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M capturing a photo of tour Eiffel with her phone

This is my attempt to photograph my travelling companion photographing the tower because she had just done the same for me:

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Photo that M took of yours truly photographing Tour Eiffel

My final photo of the tower will be its own post, so I won’t talk about it a lot here except to say that it worked out better than I was expecting at this point.

We were there before the top of to the tower opened (that’s a thing, folks – something that I don’t remember seeing in my Guide Book) so we bought tickets to the 2nd Floor and stood in line…forever.  By the end of that line, I was definitely not thinking that it was worth it.  But then I finally was on the tower and Paris…Paris is just beautiful.

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View from the second floor of Tour Eiffel

Finally, the top floor opened and we waiting in line…again…first to buy tickets and then to get onto the elevator up.  But by then (two or more hours later) the Sun was starting to set. Golden hour from atop Tour Eiffel?  Every bit as great as you might suspect it to be.

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golden hour from the top of Tour Eiffel
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Paris at sunset

Yeah, beautiful ending to a first day in a beautiful city.

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