Friday, October 17, 2008

Oct 17, Part 3 - Paris: Notre Dame and the Ile de la Cite

Yesterday afternoon the sun came out brilliantly for the first time on this trip, and this morning was the first time in a long time I'd seen a Paris morning in bright sunlight. It was gorgeous. As we walked from our hotel to the Seine (last post), I was enjoying the fall colors and bright light.

These photos are my few pictures of Notre Dame with alluringly blue skies.

We're crossing the Pont au Double from the left bank onto the island, and this is the gorgeous view you get of the south transept, the rose window, and the flying buttresses from that angle. The spire has some of the most interesting sculptures on it - mainly interesting to me just because of the blue-green color contrasted with the spire itself. Well, yes, and it's interesting to see these figures on the roof of the church.

It was such a nice day that the artists were out on the Pont au Double. I'm not usually interested in the caricaturists, like this one, but I do enjoy seeing really fine drawing. I have tended to think that even though this is Paris, most of the street art was by artists who were not so good, but this trip we saw many who were excellent. This guy was probably quite good for a caricaturist, but that's not my cup of tea. We saw some good portraitists at Montmartre.

This is where the Pont au Double intersects with the Parvis Notre Dame (the square in front of the cathedral). I like the arcs of cobblestone a lot. I also felt a kinship with the person trailing their luggage. Whenever possible, I like to make Notre Dame the first and last stop of my trip. Fortunately, we still had some days left to enjoy the city. It was still a novelty to see blue sky over the buildings of the Prefecture de Police in the background.

Passing in front of the Cathedral of Notre Dame, we came to a corner at Rue d'Arcole and Rue du Cloitre Notre Dame. I've always enjoyed the tile paintings that are part of this building. I like them better than the dime-a-dozen assembly-link prints being sold to tourists at the shop. It was hard to get pictures of the tilework today, though, because of the scaffolding. This image is on the Rue d'Arcole.

This one is around the corner on Rue du Cloitre Notre Dame. It's really, really too bad about the stupid graffiti.

In the warren of ancient streets to the north of Notre Dame, this is the Rue Colombe (named after doves) going to the left, and the Rue Chansoinesse ahead. We were making our way over to the Right Bank via some of these streets that are so easy to miss.

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