September 2010

Day 3 on our week in France began with a trip to see the Eiffel Tower up close. My wife, then girlfriend, took me to this area across the river. Coming out the train station she put her hands over my eyes to guide me round to the viewing spot. I had no idea what to expect. Was I beneath it? Right next to it? No. I was a good distance away with a wonderful view of the Eiffel Tower and Paris behind. It was a great spot. For reference it’s called the Trocadéro. Oddly it wasn’t too busy back in 2010. Great spot though. Good view over the Jardins du Trocadéro leading up to the Eiffel Tower.

From there we walked across the River Seine to get a close up view of the Eiffel Tower. Did we go up? No. It’s too much of a cliche and not the best view of the city. Head to the Montparnasse Tower, 56th floor Observatory for a great view. Instead we wandered down the Seine and took a boat ride.

Two films inspired by love of Paris. Amelié and Angel-A. Wonderfully shot films. Amelié has a red / green colour palette whereas Angel-A is strong black and white. Different takes on the city. I’d recommend them before visiting. There’s a key scene in Angel-A that takes place on bridge Pont Alexandre III. It was nice to see that bridge from the river. Of course I originally took these photos in black and white to echo the film but upon a 10 year reflection I feel they work just fine in colour.

The boat ride took us down to Notre Dame. Great to see it from this unique location.

We took quick stop to see the Arc de Triomphe which was surrounded by an absolutely bonkers roundabout.

From there we walked down Avenue des Champs-Élyéses towards the Louvre. I had always wanted to see the Louvre and the Pyramide du Louvre. Arriving perfectly at dusk it was a treat and surprisingly quiet. Pre-Instagram times eh.

We took a quick look around the inside to see the inverted pyramid and the Apple store. Always got to see the local Apple store.

I love the contrast of architecture here. The modern pyramid set against the older architecture of the Louvre. As to be expected it wasn’t welcomed at the time but has become accepted and loved. I think it’s great. One day we’ll go inside the Louvre. It’s nice to have a reason to revisit the city.

As night fell we headed back to the hotel to freshen up before tea at Refuges des Fondu.