I hadn't been in Paris for a few years so it was time for me to reacquaint myself with some of its treasures, and I've just returned from a 2-day trip, and although its was raining a lot over the 2 days, it was still a very enjoyable trip. One thing I forgot to check when I was booking the trip was that Paris virtually closes down on May 1st (Labour Day Holiday). All shops, museums, galleries, etc. were closed however it didn't bother me as one of my reasons for the trip was to photograph some of the modern architecture and on arriving I took the Metro to the La Defense business area where there are lots of modern buildings surrounding Le Grande Arche the modern square arch which is lined up with the Arc de Triomphe.
Later I went to walk from Gare du Nord train station, along Boulevard de Clichy, past Pigalle (red light district), and the Moulin Rouge up to Montmartre artist quarter and finally up to Sacre Coeur church which has a vantage point view across the city. Unfortunately my walk was cut short by torrential rain and I had to duck into Starbuck's opposite the Moulin Rouge, having ignored the numerous invitations (for shelter and something more !) further down the street.
By the time the rain had eased off it was too late (for daylight photography) so I had to postpone the walk to Sacre Coeur until the next day.
I spend the following morning at my favourite museum the Musee D'Orsay and even though I arrived at 9am there was still a 1 hour queue but well worth the wait. Its got such an amazing permanent collection of impressionists and post-impressionist paintings and sculpture, and there was an added bonus of an extra exhibition of a significant number of Van Gogh's earlier work.
Then it was on to Notre Dame with its incredible exterior and interior, which took about 170 years to complete and was finished in 1345. The exterior relief carvings on the front walls and around the main doors are stunning.
And then inside, photography doesn't really do it justice, the soaring columns, the roof, the stained glass windows and carvings and although I'm not a believer, I can see how this magnificent cathedral inspired the faithful.
Then it was back to my walk up through Montmartre and Sacre Coeur and the view across Paris. A great trip but I needed more time, so 3 or 4 days next time.