Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Paris, the walkable city (cont'd)


From Notre Dame we cut across the Seine and headed west in the direction of our hotel. First we found ourselves in front of the Paris city hall. Yet another impressive building with a huge open (and nearly empty) square in front and fountains off to the side.

City hall or Hôtel de Ville.

Then we passed by what may very well be the most hated building in Paris (at least by Parisians) the Centre Pompidou where everything is inside out. Critics have described it as "an oil refinery in the centre of the city". Its modern style architecture sure was an eyesore amongst all the old historical buildings. I guess it's all fitting as it is home to the Nation Museum of Modern Art.

Outside the Pompidou you can find the fontaine Niki de Saint Phalle. Equally as grotesque (given its location in the centre of Paris - maybe it would work better in Disneyland).

Not quite sure which building this was but the huge head and hand statue and the topless gargoyles made it picture worthy. Update: The building is the Saint Eustache Cathedral.

After the Pompidou assault on our eyes we passed through the garden in front of the Saint Eustache Cathedral and continued along the right bank in the direction of our hotel when blamo! We ended up walking right through the Louvre and its surrounding buildings and gardens.

Tunnel to the Louvre.

Le Louvre and glass pyramid...

Jardin des Tuileries

West entrance to the Louvre.

In the end we clocked 25-30km. It may not seem far to some of you but given how many famous historical sites we managed to see - or at least pass by - I think we made out pretty well. And only 3 beer breaks the entire day!! (as you'll see later this was the exact opposite beer to historical site ratio during my stay in London)

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