My visit has come to and end, but it was a bit hectic over the last few days. I finished the business part of the trip last Wednesday, so I decided to go to Paris for a couple of days (I didn’t leave for Perth until Sunday). Well it was cold in London so I thought if I went further south it would get warmer.
That wasn’t clever thinking. It got down to -6 and the wind chill made it worse.
In spite of that Paris is a beautiful place. No-one worried about my camera and whenever I asked if it was OK to take photos they were genuinely surprised that I asked – go ahead they said with a smile. The only place I wasn’t allowed to take photos was in some exhibitions in the Louvre – but everywhere else in the Louvre was OK and that was 99.9% of it.
Even if I wasn’t allowed to take any photos Paris is amazing – just gorgeous. The traffic is breathtaking, the taxi drivers managed to turn 10 Euro fares into 25, the parking is a nightmare (you park where you can and no-one seems to mind) but the atmosphere of Paris is captivating. The cafes, the streets and alleys, but most of all the architecture. The consistent style everywhere – 6 stories, limestone and the wide streets just made for pavement cafes. In summer it would be even better, as over the time I was there the cold was bitter (and I was getting used to English weather).
So a big tick to France for being sensible – I didn’t see a No Photography sign until I got back to England.
On the first night I was in Paris I went out to the Arc De Triomphe (photos later). I could see the Eiffel Tower all lit up, so I walked in that direction until I found it. I went to the top, and the views were superb. However it was freezing cold at the top. The wind was about 15 knots and with the temp around -2 my hands became painful after a couple of minutes taking photos. Later I was buying something and my fingers wouldn’t work to get the right notes out of my wallet!