09 October 2007

The Seine from the Pont des Arts

It was September 21, 2007, the last day of summer, and the day lived up to its name. The sun was bright and hot. The sky was blue with just the lightest haze in the afternoon. We had just emerged from the Cour Carrée of the Louvre and were walking across the footbridge called Le Pont des Arts.

A working tug, the Occitania, pushing a barge load of coal
or asphalt up the Seine toward the Pont Neuf

As often happens, a couple stopped us and asked me if I could take their picture with the Ile de la Cité and the Vert Galant in the background. I said yes and they handed me their camera; they could see that I was carrying a camera myself.

Sunbathing along the Seine near the Louvre

Joanna, Janice, and I had joked about people handing their cameras to strangers to have their pictures taken. What happens if the photographer you've pressed into service just turns and takes off running with your nice digital camera?

Le Vert Galant at the west end of the Ile de la Cité

I told J & J that those people on the Pont des Arts probably figured they weren't really risking much, since they were a lot younger than me. Even if I had turned and run, they probably wouldn't have had too much trouble catching me, at my age. Ha ha ha.

Three boats about to pass under the Pont Neuf at the same time

So I didn't take many pictures with my own camera. We just walked and talked. I did notice the boat traffic on the river, and the people sunbathing on the stone walkways down at river level. One woman was topless — very French, non?

Le Restaurant Paul on the Place Dauphine in mid-afternoon

We walked over part of the Pont Neuf (the oldest bridge in Paris, despite its New Bridge name) an onto the island. I wanted to walk through the Place Dauphine, which is an oasis of calm in the very center of busy, noisy Paris.

As for the Restaurant Paul, I have a memory. In about 1975, a professor from the University of Illinois and his wife took me to dinner there. It was the fanciest restaurant I had been to up to that point, and I was fascinated with the atmosphere and the food. It all seemed very exotic and ultra-Parisian to me, even though I had already lived in France for nearly three years by then. I have to say it was nice of Herb and Margo to invite me!

Two memories: Walt and I had a meal at the Restaurant Paul many years later — it was probably in the early 1990s. It was much less fancy than I remembered, but the food was good.


  1. I think that is one of my most favorite bridges in Paris. There is always something interesting to see-although not always topless women.

  2. A nice walk. I think that people who ask other people to take their photograph choose people who already have a camera. ;)
    This way, they stand a good chance of getting a reasonably good shot and have fewer risks of getting their cameras stolen

  3. La famille wants to go to London for Christmas, but all of your photos make me think of going back to Paris...we were there once in late December and for New Year's and it was just magic!

    How can one really choose between two such fabulous cities?

  4. I didn't know that woman was topless until I looked at my pictures. She was too far away — I used maximum zoom for the picture.

  5. betty c. you could do both! Take the Eurostar, it gets you from the centre of Paris into Waterloo station in three hours, which looks like two as they are an hour early!

  6. The pics are outstanding.. The post contains lot of informative resource.. I really enjoyed reading it.. Paris is a wonderful place and there is so much to do over there.. You will experience joy and fun..


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