So, after spending the snowy Easter in Lausanne, as the weather was getting slightly better, I've decided to drive my wife to Paris and spend there a few days. As they rented an one room apartment, suitable for two persons, I had to bring an inflatable mattress. I did not planned to stay the whole week, just a few days up to the next weekend, so I had to negotiate with them to leave the shopping time after my departure, an activity I am not really fond to.
Getting to and around in Paris by car was fairly easy, but parking caused serious problems. I had to pay close to 100 Euro for parking for the 4 days that I stayed there. Unlike other cities that I visited, most of the streets in Paris are opened to automotive traffic. Although enjoyable to drive right in front of Notre Dame with the car, I found it very annoying from the pedestrian point of view. Each time you are crossing the street or walking through the small narrow streets of central Paris you can smell the exhaust of passing cars.
The weather during my stay was very strange. It was raining several times each day, with alternate periods of sunshine. The temperature however was very pleasant. Due to the changing weather, the sunsets were stunning. For example, we reach Louvre Museum after a walk in the rain during one evening. However, as we were approaching, the clouds were clearing out, leaving room for a gorgeous golden hour and a stunning sunset:
The inside of the museum was as stunning as the outside. An amazing collection of art-work from all over the globe, including the Mona Lisa.
As the days were fairly short, and sometimes rainy during the day, I had the opportunity to practice my skills in night photography. As our apartment on a back street of Champes-Elysees, the Arc de Triomphe was the first landmark that I have photographed, just in my arrival night.
Notre-dame came next, after several day attempts were rain was always getting in my way. I have discovered that the best position for photographing the church at night was from the back, to get the colors of the setting sun in the background. Long exposure of a passing boat on the Seine added to the composition. The amazing architectural features (the flying buttresses) are beautifully lighten up.
But Paris is not beautiful only during the night. The changing weather left some room for some good day-shots too...Paris, dating back to the beginning of the 17th century, a place linked with the history of the musketeers and Cardinal Richeliu.
Of course there are many other pictures that I've missed. I haven't made it to the Sacre-Coeur Church. I could've got a better shot of Eiffel Tower (maybe during the night too) or I should have got a better weather when I've visited the Palace of Versailles. Gardens and the Palace of Luxembourg and the other great chateaus around Paris like the Vaux-le-Viconte will be added on the visiting list on the next opportunity to travel to Paris...
Photo credits: Mihai-bogdan Lazar.
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