One of the main landmarks in the neighborhood where I spent the last few days is the gilded dome of the Invalides church. The Michelin Green Guide describes it as "the masterpiece of the age of Louis XIV" — he was king France from 1643 until 1715. Work on the church began in 1677 and it wasn't completed until 1735.
Running south from the front of the church, the avenue de Breteuil provides fine views of the gilded dome and is itself a beautiful green space in the middle of the city. As you can see, with the warm weather came hordes of young people picnicking, sunbathing, or just enjoying the fresh air on the grassy median. Finally, it really felt like summer (and still does).
The dome is an irresistible subject for photographers, I guess. You can see it from many points around the neighborhood, with a variety of views from close up or far away. The gilding, when the sun shines, really attracts your eye and camera lens. By the way, this is the church where Napoleon's tomb is located.
I'm back in Saint-Aignan now and, as usual, those few days in Paris seem like a dream. A nice dream, but somehow unreal. In fact, every time I stepped out the big carriageway door of CHM's building, I was astonished to find myself in the city and see all the people and cars rushing by. CHM's apartment is on the courtyard of the building and is very quiet and calm. But the neighborhood is a beehive of activity.
This was my first time I'd spent more than 24 hours in Paris since 2009, and my longest visit since 2006. I lived in Paris for five years back in the 1970s and early 1980s, and Walt and I spent many vacations there between 1988 and 2002, before moving to Saint-Aignan. I have so many good memories of the city. Now I have more. Somehow, just knowing that Paris is still there is reassuring to me.