R and I spent a few days in Paris. R has never visited before (and I haven’t been for years), so we spent the time sightseeing.


We took the Eurostar from London. In Paris we got the metro to Blanche station and walked to our hotel (a small one in Montmartre). After settling in there, we took a short evening walk to Sacré-Cœur and around Montmartre.

Sacré-Cœur domes.
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View down to the Rue Lamarck and across the city.
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Looking into the sun at the Eiffel Tower.
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Another Eiffel Tower view.
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Tree behind classical-looking building and nice fence.
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Saint-Pierre du Montmartre church.
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In the morning we started from Place de la Concorde (which, despite the name, has no aeroplanes - instead it has a giant pointy Egyptian obelisk). We took a walk east along the line of the Seine, beginning through the Jardin des Tuileries.

The Tiber (river-god) considering a ride on the big wheel.
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We passed the Louvre (without visiting).

Louvre pyramid.
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After getting lost a bit, we made it to the Jardin du Palais-Royal.

Nice fountain.
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We walked across Pont Neuf and along the Île de la Cité to Notre-Dame cathedral, and queued (not too long) to get in.

Four nice statues above the entrance.
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Joan of Arc.
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Large circular stained glass window.
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Painted columns and statues.
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We continued across the Île Saint-Louis.

Boys’ school (wrapped in netting).
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The river had flooded a few weeks before, and was still rather high.

Steps down into the Seine.
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Corner of Rue Poulletier or Poultier, depending on which vintage of sign you prefer.
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Light through archway.
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View back down the river of Pont de la Tournelle and Notre-Dame.
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Edge of Île Saint-Louis.
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We crossed the river and continued through a slightly flooded sculpture garden as far as the Gare d’Austerlitz.

Riverside walk.
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Pont de Sully.
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At the station we took a train to the Eiffel Tower.

Eiffel Tower.
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Looking up from the base of the tower.
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I decided we should walk up (you can walk to the second level - not to the very top). By walking you get nice views from the stairs, as well as that important sense of achievement. This choice was not universally acclaimed, but we did make it up.

Shadow of the Tower, with Montmartre (Sacré-Cœur) visible on the horizon.
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Jardins du Trocadéro across the river, and La Défense skyscrapers behind.
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Looking up at the top of the tower.
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View southwest along the river into the sun.
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View southeast along the Champ de Mars. The ominous office tower is the Tour Montparnasse; the shiny gold dome is on top of Les Invalides (army museums).
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Last view, as the sun begins to set.
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We made our way back down the 674 steps, which was easier than going up them.

Sunset through the tower framework.
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Looking down at the street and people below.
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After we left the tower we walked across the river and eventually to the Arc de Triomphe.

Tower from Passerelle Debilly footbridge.
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Arc de Triomphe.
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It rained most of Monday, so in the morning we followed a specific walk from our guidebook – a tour of covered shopping galleries.

Passage des Panoramas (allegedly the oldest), with stamp shops.
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Between galleries we passed the Bourse.
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And the Bibliothèque Nationale (French for ‘national building site’).
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Galerie Colbert.
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Galerie du Passage.
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Galerie Vivienne.
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More or less galleried-out, we then took the Metro back to the Musée de l’Orangerie, where we had to queue quite a while to get in (even in February). They have two large oval rooms with some of Monet’s water-lily paintings.

One painting...
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...and another.
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We went to see the Galeries Lafayette department store, where we bought nothing except two macaroons.

Impressive roof dome (1).
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They have a rooftop terrace which you can walk on; this is probably somewhat more lovely in fine weather.

View to Eiffel Tower (nearly).
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Impressive roof dome (2).
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Montmartre barely visible in the distance.
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We returned to Montmartre to get our evening meal.

St-Jean l'Evangeliste de Montmartre church.
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That’s all from Paris. On Tuesday we caught the train from Gare de Lyon to the second part of our holiday, in Carcassonne. Pictures from that later!

All images © Samuel Marshall. All rights reserved.