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Today is our first full day in Paris after arriving late afternoon on Saturday. As has been the case, although busy, the shops (except for some restaurants) are closed, the streets are not busy, but the Tuileries are busy with Parisians and tourists alike enjoying the day. Some smaller shops are also closed due to the custom of Fermeture Annuell.
Since we were last here in May, they’ve allowed the circus rides back in the park on the rue de Rivoli side of the park. I suppose it’s fine for families, but it’s not what I enjoy about the park, which are the shady walks with a canopy of horse chestnut trees, chairs for lounging, the large parterre d’eau (fountains). The leaves of some of the horse chestnut trees in the Tuileries are starting to turn brown at the edges, portending the onset of fall.
A new hazard has been introduced in Paris we’ve not seen elsewhere, the electric razor scooter share. Bike sharing and car sharing have been in Paris for quite some time, but now we’re seeing several brands of electric razor scooters.
The brand we’ve seen more of is Bird, which does appear to be a very recent phenomenon. We’ve also seen a few Lime scooters. You’ll see the scooters on the street, in the park and along the walkway along the Seine, but so far not the sidewalks. They aren’t as ubiquitous yet as some of the bicycle ride sharing I’ve seen in the US that seems to result in abandoned bikes everywhere, but these are “dockless” , so they too may end up being an eyesore. These “personal mobility” devices will have to compete with cars, motorcycles, bicycles, and the Metro.
We crossed through the Tuileries and over the Pont des Arts pedestrian bridge (aka “Love Locks”) near the Musee d’Orsay and walked along the left bank of the Seine towards the Pont Alexandre III, an area we’ve really not explored before. It’s the quieter side of the roadways that parallel the Seine.
There is a wide embankment down below street level along the Seine where there are people strolling, rollerskating as well as some pop-up fast food and drink spots. There are a few fast food places that are even using shipping containers as their “store”.
This time of year there is a constant stream of sightseeing boats cruising the Seine, but there are quite a few permanently docked houseboats and some boats turned into restaurants or party venues.
We stopped for a beer before crossing over the Pont Alexandre III bridge, regarded as the most ornate, extravagant bridge in the city.
Across the bridge on the left is the Grand Palais (exhibition center) and on the right the smaller Petit Palais. The Petit Palais (museum) has an art exhibition, while the Grand Palais is being readied for an upcoming one.
We continued walking past the Petit Palais up to the Champs Elysee, crossing over it and walking back towards Place de la Concorde. The trees along the Champs Elysee were definitely changing color.
The American Embassy is near the Place de la Concord before you get to the Hotel de Crillion, but I can’t show you any photos of the embassy because (as I found last year) the gendarmes guarding the perimeter won’t allow you to take any.
Prior to stopping at Ladurée for some macarons, I snapped a couple of photos of guests’ cars outside the Crillion.
Ladurée never disappoints with their macarons (not macaroons, which are cookies). Fleur de Sel. Yummo.