Liza
gardening consultant
User avatar
Waterloo, Belgium

For Just One Day in the Noisy, Festive Paris!

3 Jan '07 2:01 am
This has been actually a one-day excursion to Paris! Just in order to be close to the Eiffel Tower while the New Year was coming, to admire the fire works, to share the excitement , like children do, with all the other celebrating people being there...

And this was not my idea...Cause I am a quiet person , prefering some picturesque, Belgian, modest tiny villages in similar festive times...But if you are only a woman amidst three energetic boys (husband and two sons..), you are a minority while voting...

And within 2,5 hours of driving , here we are in the rainy , illuminated festive Paris! It is late in the afternoon, and we pass through the sparkling Champs Elysee Avenue, heading to our suburban hotel. The temperature is 13 Celcius! After having a modest festive dinner, together with a a group of nice elderly British tourists and a group of nice youngerly Chinese tourists, we change clothes and we head to the Eiffel Tower. Big police cars are everywhere! Lots of them... We make a lot of rounds around the streets close to the Tower looking for a parking spot...After half an hour, we find one in a seemingly quiet neigbourhood..Mama mia! Fast food mobile restos are everywhere...this burnt onions taste hovers in the air... We reach to a tiny parc some 300 metres away from the feet of the Tower.. It is 11.30'pm... People are waiting calmly all around us... People of all nations.. You can hear Chinese, Russian, Italian, American/British English, German,French,...Greek, and who knows how many other languages! The tower is beautifully illuminated... I am so happy we are not right under its feet...Isolated fireworks are seen and heard here and there , all around us! OOps! One is being blown right in the kitchen of one of the mobile restos near us!! The onions' smell becomes even stronger...

And the time of the New Year has come ! It is there!! The Tower starts sparkling madly!! It is beautiful...But no fire works.... Oh, why!! What a disappointment! Because -- they say -- Police protects us against the terrorist attacks... People around us kiss and hugg each other! We, too...Some have their champaign and glasses with them...We start leaving, wishing to walk by the River Seine a little bit,...The crowds move madly...Broken bottles are everywhere...Alcohol smell is everywhere... Together with the onion taste...A young, dirty homeless man pushing an old chariot, collects some empty bottles from the ground...In the river some sparkling boats pass, illuminating beautifully the water...Babies cry, people speak loudly , speaking all the languages of the world...Cars with screaming passengers and very loud music are passing ...I can see a car moving on the pavement(!!) in the opposite direction of the cars moving in the narrow street...I am lost a couple of times, taking photos...I feel sort of stressed...Not at all comfortable...

We finally arrive by our parked car. It is well and safe...But some young people speaking broken English need help , because their car has broken windows . A big, expensive car.. They had left their mobile phones in the car...and now they are missing...We help them by calling the Police, which is unable to help them immediately..They are driving to Germany this night with broken windows..

We finally return to our hotel. The following morning it is a sunny , windy, cold day! The first day of the New Year! After visiting the lovely old Church of Sacre Coeur up in the hill where Monmarte is found, we head to Waterloo/Belgium. We arrived early in the afternoon. Son Dinos headed right to the Airport, to take his plane to Athens.
The Champs Elysee Avenue illuminated for the festive season..jpg
The Eiffel Tower a few minutes before the end of 2006.jpg
The Eiffel Tower sparkling madly,  right at the moment 2007 comes in !.jpg
Nicholas mesmerized....jpg
A boat , Bateau Mouche, in the river Seine, passing in front of the Tower  a few minutes after the New Year is there ..jpg
Ascending to the Church through Monmarte....jpg
A lovely touristic train in the streets of Monmarte.jpg
Beautiful old houses in Monmarte.jpg
Beautiful old houses in Monmarte (1).jpg
Beautiful old houses in Monmarte (2).jpg
Getting closer to the Church of Sacre Coeur (1).jpg
Getting closer to the Church of Sacre Coeur.jpg
Arriving at the church.jpg
A lovey touristic train outside the church.jpg
A smaller church by the Sacre Coeur  Church.jpg
The snow-white Church of Sacre Coeur.jpg
A view of Paris from up the hill where  Sacre Coeur is found.jpg
Sun bathing pigeons outside the church.jpg
Last edited by Liza on 3 Jan '07 7:34 am, edited 3 times in total.
"..So,perhaps, it is easiest, through awareness of flowers in particular, of their radiant beauty and purity, their vibrant colour, to come to the excellence of the One and be uplifted beyond thought to our divine selves".Dorothy Maclean

Bambi
Slowly Learning Gardener
User avatar
Kent, England

3 Jan '07 3:47 am
Thank you for sharing your New Year experience with us all, Liza, it certainly sounds exciting and the Champs Elysee and Eiffel Tower are both stunning in your photos; plus I just adore Sacre Coeur and Montmartre, it's probably my favourite place in the whole of Paris (not that I've been for some years now, but maybe we might pop over there for a weekend at some point this year (almost wrote "next year" there - hee hee!).

I'm surprised about the lack of fireworks in Paris because, from what I hear, London went mad with fireworks this time. Apparently all the English were complaining that we never do New Year as well as the Aussies, so I hear that they went all-out - below is a picture of the London Eye lit up with fireworks to serve as an example.

However I, like you, do usually prefer the quiet option and hubby and I went to a lovely local restaurant with my two brothers and my eldest brother's girlfriend which was a lovely way to see in the New Year for me. We had silly party hats, champagne and brandy all supplied compliments of the restaurant and then had a bit of a dance after midnight until we walked home (not very easy in my strappy heels, but nevermind!! :wink:).
1483937.jpg
"If you'd have a mind at peace
A heart that cannot harden
Go find a door that opens wide
Upon a beautiful garden."
Author Unknown

Faith S
Perpetually learning gardener
User avatar
Alabama, USA

New Year's in Paris

3 Jan '07 4:34 am
How exciting! Thank you dear Liza for sharing your pictures with us. I have never been to Paris (unless you count sitting at a gate in the airport waiting for a connecting flight to Prague). My only international trip was to Prague in January of 1999 to visit my lovely expat daughter and her then spouse. It was a beautiful city and we enjoyed the visit in spite of the cold weather.

Faith
Faith at Bide-a-Wee Farm, Alabama, USA

Come abide with me a wee while.

Dixie
garden enthusiast
User avatar
Waikato-New Zealand

Amazing

3 Jan '07 5:04 am
What an amazing series of photos. Views of the magic Paris I have never seen before - I especially like Montmatre ,of which I have read , and hope it's ok if I put some of the photos in my folders so I can keep them to look at again.(just for myself)
Some years ago my daughter spent New Year in Edinburgh ,Scotland .There were a million ,well behaved people in the street .It took her a while to figure out that the traditional 'Neeps and Tatties' were turnips and potatoes.
Dixie

Liza
gardening consultant
User avatar
Waterloo, Belgium

The real Paris...

3 Jan '07 5:21 am
Dear Faith, Bambi,and Dixie, I hope you also noticed the tragicomic hints in my narrative, regarding the reality around us, during those festive , universal moments...And it was not at all rosy...Not at all glamourous,...like the photos.. When we discovered the car with the broken windows, parked close to ours, a great bit of another real Paris was unvailed...The Paris of fear...Last year, about 200 cars had exploded in Paris while the New Year was coming in...The French TV has been constantly announcing recently the new legislation protecting the unfortunate life of homeless in Paris...Paris is the capital of homeless in Europe....Not only the capital with the best blue sky...

Do not feel Paris-sick , my tender Faith...Yes, it is so beautiful with its great historical monuments in a sunny day...Yes, it is so romantic walking in Monmarte...Yes, Notre Dame de Paris is such a spiritual place to experience, not just famous for other reasons...Those Museums, and Palaces...But I DO TELL YOU WITH UTMOST FAITH, dear Faith, that where you live now, like all the gardens of my Forum friends , is the REAL thing to exist, to experience!...We are , oh!! SO blessed!...

And, Bambi, I think you had a real great time with your young and joyful company of brothers and friends!! You reminded me of my younger years of ...crazy dancing...I am so happy for you!
"..So,perhaps, it is easiest, through awareness of flowers in particular, of their radiant beauty and purity, their vibrant colour, to come to the excellence of the One and be uplifted beyond thought to our divine selves".Dorothy Maclean

Liza
gardening consultant
User avatar
Waterloo, Belgium

Some more of the bright side...

3 Jan '07 10:26 pm
I thought , you might love to see some more of the....bright side of the Tower...and Paris...Everything has its negative and positive aspects...But generally, the fast visit to a huge, historical city, works like a good , strong coffee on our system...Seeing again the photos you had once taken there -- after a certain period of time has passed -- you have this feeling you only experienced everything through a film...That is why I believe, that it is not of a lesser value a good BBC documentary -- even better on a DVD, being watched in the serenity of our living-room. Together with a specialized book...And the interesting discussion that follows with our friends...
Tour Eiffel, Octobre 2004.jpg
The Tower seen from Trocadero.jpg
Paris, Octobre 2004 023.jpg
Paris, Octobre 2004 065.jpg
At the feet of Tour Eiffel.jpg
At the feet of Tour Eiffel (1).jpg
At the feet of Tour Eiffel (2).jpg
At the feet of Tour Eiffel (3).jpg
Notre Dame de Paris.jpg
Les bateaux mouches.jpg
"..So,perhaps, it is easiest, through awareness of flowers in particular, of their radiant beauty and purity, their vibrant colour, to come to the excellence of the One and be uplifted beyond thought to our divine selves".Dorothy Maclean

Bambi
Slowly Learning Gardener
User avatar
Kent, England

6 Jan '07 3:05 am
How lovely - this is the Paris I remember, Liza; the Cathedral de Notre Dame and the Tour Eiffel, I love the bold colours of those Chrysanths too and your little Nicolas is really cute too :D
"If you'd have a mind at peace
A heart that cannot harden
Go find a door that opens wide
Upon a beautiful garden."
Author Unknown

moosey
head gardener
User avatar

Paris

6 Jan '07 8:13 am
Oh Liza, my visions of Paris are hopeless - it's the TV, and the Tour de France is having its last day, so some of the streets are closed, the helicopters whirr around filming the riders and the city sights, and I'm sitting on the winter couch inside watching!

And when I am even slightly near the real Paris I don't make any effort to go! Ouch!
Head Gardener
mooseyscountrygarden.com
http://www.mooseyscountrygarden.com

Liza
gardening consultant
User avatar
Waterloo, Belgium

I promise you....

6 Jan '07 8:29 am
Hmmmmm...You know what?? This little lovely voice inside, that eventually I learnt to listen to, tells me you'll meet the real Paris this very coming ...Winter -- of yours that is...Nice, no?? But it will be rather ...summery warm...Lots of tourists and things...Romantic? Hmmmm...don't really know...Interesting?? I think, yes!!!
"..So,perhaps, it is easiest, through awareness of flowers in particular, of their radiant beauty and purity, their vibrant colour, to come to the excellence of the One and be uplifted beyond thought to our divine selves".Dorothy Maclean

Anna
Gone to seed
User avatar
Hamilton, New Zealand

6 Jan '07 1:18 pm
The furthest abroad I've been is Sydney Australia and surrounding countryside. One of these days hubby and I will do the big OE, til then it's interesting to see others views of it.
I'd be torn between the beauty of Paris and the ugly side of it. The homeless plight and the violence aspect.
I appreciate the photos you've taken and shared with us Liza, but I agree I'd have preferred a quieter New Year, given the choice. :)
Woof?

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