Saturday, August 26, 2006

Paris

Wake up with the sun, but, because I can, take my time getting up. Breakfast, then a long walk out past Concorde to the Arc de Triomphe, taking the Champs Elysées for the first time — so I'm surprised at the commercial nature, more like Oxford Street west of Oxford Circus, but much wider. Beyond the Peripherique, it gets quieter and more run down light commercial, then nigh residential,before crossing the Seine.

La Defence

La Défense

I had been dodging scattered sprinklings of rain, and it was still gloomy as I tentatively crossed the deserted retail area at the near edge of the complex, and onto the first of the art installations

Arc de Triomphe

Public art at La Défense

but then it moved from hotels (flats, too? offices?) with more art, then a plaza before the Grand Arch, with more people around

Carousel

Carousel at La Défense

and finally out onto the jetty to nowhere beyond

Grand Arch

End of the line

Having completed this axis from the Tuileries, I return over the Seine, then turn right down a pretty avenue, then into the Bois de Bologne, to Trocadero, and back in the rain along the Rive Gauche. All this time, Smart fortwos are everywhere, often 3 or 4 in sight at once.

Resupplied for the morning, I then take the obligatory supper at La Trappiste.

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