Tag Archives: Eiffel Tower

image of the day: tower reflections

Sunset view of the Eiffel Tower

In the spring of 2006 I had the opportunity to take a “Streets of Paris” photography workshop, taught by Peter Turnely. For ten days we spent our time roaming the streets of Paris, searching and waiting for images, ‘making photos’ as he referred to it, rather than ‘taking photos.’ On a previous visit to Paris (while living in Scotland) I had gone to the top of the Montparnasse Tower to see the skyline view. So, I decided to head up there again and wait for the sunset.

Day 28: the picasso of pastry

sunny day in Paris

sunny day in Paris

Today was a beautiful, sunny day in Paris. 

Here are a few highlights: 

  • Guided tour of the Louvre (last time I went to the Louvre it was basically to see the Mona Lisa and leave, so this time was a bit more thorough, though at only 1.5 hours, only saw a tiny fraction of what could be viewed…and I’m probably okay with that! 
  • Ice cream from Berthillon (recommended by Rick Steves and my good friend Julianne). I had coffee and chocolate. Yum. 
  • We tried to go see Sainte-Chapelle but the line was really long so we did not wait. We’ll see if we can get in tomorrow. When I was here five years ago, but in February, we walked right in. 
pastry by the 'picasso of pastry'

pastry by the 'picasso of pastry'


  • Dinner at Chez Lena et Mimile  a cute place we had seen a few days back and managed to find again, based on a photo my mom had taken of the awning. The photo did not have the full name of the place, but did have the phone number, which I was able to google and get the address. In addition to a delicious dinner (we both had ‘gambas’ (shrimp) with risotto) we tasted a fine pastry from the ‘picasso of pastry’ Pierre Hermé.


  • img_1978aTo cap off the evening we decided to take another boat tour (we took one the day my mom arrived, during the day) so that we could see the Eiffel Tower lit up at night. The boat tour did not disappoint–the Eiffel Tower views, with the moon alongside, were spectacular. We would up sitting next to a couple from Sherman Oaks, and a few rows in front of many young school children, all in matching red baseball caps, all hooting as we went under each bridge, until an announcement came on in French that, based on their subsequent silence, must have reprimanded them. 

Day 26: impromptu ‘concerts,’ water lilies, and such

No more lollygagging…if we’re going to see the museums of Paris, it’s time to get serious. 

this girl stood was engrossed

this girl stood engrossed before the water lilies

So, today, we started off with the Musée de l’Orangerie, arguably one of the best  collections of Impressionist art anywhere (except for, perhaps Musée d’Orsay which is on the schedule for Tuesday). 

After a yummy potato omelet at a cafe alongside the Pompidou Center, we hopped on the metro toward Concord. The metro we happened to hop on came with musical entertainment–a man, his electric guitar, and an amp, serenading the passengers with Spanish songs. It was surprisingly good, and definitely an enjoyable start to the day. 

After seeing works by Monet (like), Utrillo (like–we saw a painting of his with the very view from our dinner table in Montmarte last night!), Renior (not a big fan), Matisse (like, but a bit odd), and Picasso (never knew he did non-cubist stuff) we headed to a cafe in the Tulleries garden for a snack–beer and french fries. 

From there we decided to walk up the Champs-Elysees, with a brief detour to see some more Monet (for free!) in the Petit Palais, and a view of the Invalides and Eiffel Tower from the pont Alexander III

wedding party taking photos on Pont Alexander III

wedding party taking photos on Pont Alexander III

The walk from the Tulleries garden toward the  Arc d’Triumph, took us past the US Embassy (no pictures allowed?!), through gardens with blossoming tulips (and other flowers, but I don’t know their names) and gi-normous artichoke plants. There were also TONS of people walking along the Champs-Elysees, in both directions. 

We decided to stop for a bite to eat (salad, pizza, red wine) at a restaurant just before the Arc d’Triumph, figuring we might need the sustenance for the 284 step climb to the top.

When you eat at outdoor cafes in Paris you are basically lined up, perched at tiny round tables, facing the street, watching the people go by. If you are one with a need for a lot of personal space, this is not for you. We were close enough to our neighbors for me to know that on one side, they were from Ireland and on the other side, for the guy to offer to pay me for my mom (I said I’d sell her for 200 euro, he offered 300. So, though it was great to hang out with her in Paris, looks like I’ll be alone…kidding). 

girl band plays at the top of the  Arc d'Triumph

girl band plays at the top of the Arc d'Triumph

Once at the top (with a few rest stops up the 284 stairs) we were treated not only with the expected 360 views of the city (though a bit hazy) but also with a girl band, wearing silver/white ‘bob’ wigs, playing trumpets, tubas, drums…still not sure why, as they were not collecting money, but everyone up at the top gathered around listened, and joined in the fun. From the name on the drum they appear to be les muses tanguent. 

So, all in all a great day, book-ended by two impromptu, free, and fun in their spontaneity concerts!