Thursday, October 16, 2008

Oct 16, Part 3 - Along the Seine at Quai des Orfevres

From Notre Dame, we walked along the Seine, continuing on the Ile de la Cite (such an historic and ancient heart of the city) toward the "prow" of the island. This empty tour boat came past just as we approached the Pont St-Michel.

There is Place St-Michel, storied hub of the Left Bank with its unmistakable pink marble columns. For once I didn't spend much time in that vicinity, as we were staying further along the river and usually chose another access. Do you see the small dark spot under the bridge on the stones that looks like a black grain of rice? It isn't.

A homeless man thought this would be a good place for some undisturbed sleep. Before the sight became so common, Paris is actually where I first saw someone sleeping on the street. It was cold, and he had a piece of cardboard for shelter. Later, it became a common site almost anywhere.

I thought he was sleeping soundly, but as a passer-by hustled along the walkway under the bridge, the guy jerked upright.

Further along the quai, I couldn't help taking a photo of this tree chestnut tree with its romantic background.

Across the street at 36 is the Prefecture de Police - the main police station of Paris. The officers seem pretty well-behaved here. There are usually groups standing around chatting. They seem to mind their own business and they smile a lot. I think I would, too, if I lived here. The traffic can be a royal pain, but what a beautiful spot!

We continued along the quai. This is the Pont Neuf coming up. Despite its name, it's the oldest still-standing bridge in Paris. There's a guy out for a walk with his dog.

Pont Neuf. Unlike the tourist boat earlier, the boats tied up beyond this bridge seem to be working boats used to carry supplies and goods. I'd like to learn more about what they do. They're very picturesque and nicely painted. I'll have more pix of them later on the walk.

I turned to look back at the tower on the police building and/or Palais de Justice. The sky is gray and overcast, but I burned it out so the building wasn't so dark.

Moving along a few steps further, we came to the Rue de Harlay, which cuts across the island not far from Pont Neuf and the tip. It's here, just past the Prefecture and the Palais de Justice that you turn right to reach a square I'd wanted to visit again, the Place Dauphine. I snapped the picture of the Rue de Harlay on the fly and I'm glad it came out. I think it looks especially nice, and I don't remember another street sign in Paris made just like this, but I haven't taken an inventory.

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