“A taste of the Left Bank”
Paris, France. May-June 2018 (15 photos)
This is Part 8 of my France 2018 photo series, and also Part 20 of my Europe 2018 photo series.
I was wandering amongst the Bouquinistes of Paris, along the Left Bank when I saw the poster of Doisneau’s famous photo. I waited for a while but sadly no couple happened to spontaneously kiss in front of that poster. C’est la vie.
I only took a couple of formal tours whilst I was in Paris, and one of them was a gourmet food tour. We visited several gourmet food shops, learning about the foods, and accumulating a variety of foods which we then took to a private cellar in a wine cave, There the foods were matched to several wines and I ate to my stomach’s content, learning about the French wine regions along the way. It was very enjoyable and when it finished after about 4 hours, I went off to get ice cream from the nearest Berthillon store. But that has nothing to do with this post except that the tour was called “A Taste of the Left Bank” and for this instalment of my Paris in the Spring series, I’m giving you a visual taste of the Left Bank of Paris.
“On the Champ de Mars, approaching the Eiffel Tower”
The Eiffel Tower is perhaps the best known attraction on the Left Bank. The problem with photographing from up on the Eiffel Tower (and I did) is that one’s photos of Paris don’t include the Eiffel Tower. So just a short walk away from the Eiffel Tower is Paris’ first (and controversial) skyscraper, the Montparnasse Tower which has an open-air roof top observation deck.
“Tour Eiffel from Tour Montparnasse”
The gold domed structure on the right is the Dome of Les Invalides. You may be able to see the Arc de Triomphe as well.
Napoleon Bonaparte is buried there.
I have no idea what that statue is depicting, but it caught my eye. Or maybe it was the sun.
The Left Bank (La Rive Gauche) is on the southern side of the Seine and encompasses six arrondissements. It is the smaller section of Paris, and historically known as the artistic part of the city. Picasso, Matisse, and Hemingway once lived in this area. The Left Bank evokes thoughts of a bygone era; the Paris of writers, artists and philosophers.
“Fromagerie Nicole Barthélémy”
Sadly, I simply walked past this cheese shop since my stomach was full from eating a dinner of Breton galettes.
“Saint Germain des Prés”
One of the older areas of Paris with lots of narrow and winding streets. There’s something interesting to find everywhere you look in and around this area.
“…could be seen reading peacefully, indifferent to worldly success. Beside him lies a dog or perhaps a cat … or in this case, a backpack”
Shakespeare and Co is the area’s famed bookstore. Often there will be a queue to get in with a staff member at the door controlling how many are allowed in at any one time.
“On location with the Riot Squad”
One day I encountered numerous police cars, barricades and cordoned off roads. Naturally I walked up to and through the barricades and came near to an area where a large angry demonstration was being held. It was one of the SNCF train strike days and the strikers, mixed with some pro-anarchy groups were creating a bit of havoc. There was a lot of smoke from fires and random “explosions” going off. As the police weren’t stopping anyone, I ducked underneath the police tape (like everyone else was doing) to get closer and have a look. Lots of chants, whistles and “songs of angry men”. At one stage police in full riot gear grabbed their shields and weapons and started to head in. I followed them just in case they needed my help. You may have seen that video online. Nothing came of it; the police stood down. After a few more “explosions” I figured my travel insurance wouldn’t cover me for any injuries so I decided to resume my normal tourism.
Originally built as a church dedicated to St. Genevieve but, after many changes, now functions as a secular mausoleum containing the remains of distinguished French citizens.
In the Latin Quarter, this market street is believed to have been in existence since the 1st Century AD.
The Chapel of Sainte Ursule de la Sorbonne, also known as the Sorbonne Chapel, is a Roman Catholic chapel located in the Sorbonne historical site. It was rebuilt in the XVII century by order of Cardinal Richelieu.
“Luxembourg Gardens and Palace”
Montparnasse Cemetery (Cimetière du Montparnasse). I’ve already posted about Père Lachaise Cemetery.
“The Left Bank”
As the sun sets groups of people congregate along the Left Bank of the Seine. I think it’s a way of life.