Tuesday, April 30, 2024

Finishing Up Our Stroll in Paris

After our glass of wine on the sidewalk under an awning, the rain stops, the sky clears, and we continue walking, passing through the gardens next to Forum des Halles.  Forum des Halles, built on the site of the former cental food halls of Paris, is now the most visited shopping center in France, with over 50 million visitors a year.  We don't go into the shops, but pass through the gardens admiring the plantings and some of the nearby buildings.


At the edge of the park, the Eglise Saint-Eustache, the second largest church in Paris, shows a mixture of architectural styles: its structure is flamboyant gothic, while the interior is renaissance and classical.  Some holiday masses have been relocated here from Notre-Dame de Paris after the fire.  Nearby, the Bourse de Commerce Pinault Collection holds the art collection of the French businessman Francois Pinault.  The Bourse was originally a grain/wheat exchange, then later used to provide services by the Paris Chamber of Commerce.  Now a museum.

Eglise Saint-Eustache

Bourse de Commerce

Leaving the park, we pass E Dehillerin, an incredible store specializing in kitchen equipment since the 1880s.  The store's motto is:  "Modest assistance in the promotion of French cuisine."  The store is a favorite of professionals from all aspects of the food industry (and tourists).

E Dehillerin

Store windows

Continuing our walk, we reach the Jardin des Tuileries and wander through, this time walking from the Louvre to Place de la Concorde.

A beautiful day in the Tuileries Garden

Just another great day in Paris!

Friday, April 26, 2024

Continuing to Wander in Paris

We leave the Luxembourg Gardens, heading toward Place Saint-Michel.  As we wander down Boulevard Saint-Michel, we find a market on the sidewalk featuring all sorts of tempting foods, from cheeses to sausages to nougats and nuts.  We wander and eventually (after sampling several types) purchase a portion of traditional nougat to take home.

Sidewalk market

Continuing into the maze of streets around Place Saint-Michel, we walk past the shops and restaurants to a chocolate shop on the corner where we enter and admire the many Easter-themed chocolates throughout the store.

Chocolate shop

A brief rainshower passes through after we cross the Seine by Notre Dame (noting the cranes still in operation, although the reopening of the cathedral is scheduled with different celebrations from December 8, 2024 to June 8, 2025) and we stop at the next cafe and sit as a table outside under the awning, sipping a glass of wine, as the storm passes.

Notre Dame reconstruction continues

Waiting for the rain to pass

Perhaps the rain was a sign, we've been walking for a while and it's time to sit for a bit, sip some good wine, and watch the world scurry by in the rain.

Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Exploring Luxembourg Gardens in Paris

We stroll through the streets of the Left Bank of the Seine in Paris, finally ending up at Luxembourg Gardens (Jardin du Luxembourg), owned by the French Senate which meets in a Palace in the corner of the gardens.  The gardens were started in 1612 when Marie de' Medici, the widow of King Henry IV, constructed the Luxembourg Palace as her new residence.  The gardens cover 23 hectares (57 acres) and are known for their lush lawns, tree-lined promenades, many tennis courts, beautiful flowerbeds, Medici Fountain, and model sailboats sailing on the octagonal Grand Bassin.

We enter the park and wander through the spring plantings.

Spring flowers in the gardens

It's early and the trees are just getting their leaves, but the ponies are out and ready for riders to come to the park.

Leaves emerging

Ponies ready

On this beautiful spring day, there are quite a few people walking in the park or sunning by the basin or in one of the clearings in the park

Relaxing in the park

Senate palace in the background

Lots of space

A brief rain shower passes through and we take refuge in the bandstand, along with others in the area, until the shower passes and the sun reemerges.

Hiding from the rain

It's a beautiful spring day in Luxembourg Gardens and we truly enjoy our stroll (even the hiding from the rain).