Continuing with my theme for this week of revisiting my Paris trip (which happened last September), I thought I’d highlight the hidden beauties special moments.
As someone who lives in a city that’s relatively young and has relatively few older or historic buildings, all of Paris felt like a big museum and art gallery. There’s a lot of really amazing things to see and a lot of beautifully ornate features everywhere you go (sculptures, architectural details, painted walls, etc.). But, there was also a lot of hidden beauty. Some of my favourite things were remnants that they hadn’t bothered to hide and some of my favourite moments where generic or things that you can can see and do anywhere: sunsets, plants, etc.
Here are some of my favourite moments and hidden beauties.
This is the Patheon. As we wandered around the building (waiting for it to open) I kept seeing evidence of old windows that had been bricked up. The giveaway is the vertical bricks – they would have been the top of the window. I’ve always been drawn to bricked up windows and doors. They spark my curiosity. What did the windows look like? Why did they get rid of them? If you go to Google Maps and use Street View to go around the building, you’ll see evidence of a lot of windows.
I also love the creamy colour of the bricks, the cobble stone road, and even the black grime building up on the walls (it adds character). It’s not a typical vacation photo, but it’s one of my favourites.
I love that L’Arc de Triomphe is mirrored by the Grande Arche down the road. It’s a minor detail, but it adds a bit of interest.
No matter where I go, I love nature. The stairs of the Sacré-Cœur Basilica were full of people enjoying the view, soaking up the sun, listening to the busker, and eating. On the fenced-in lawns, birds rested in between trips to the stairs to find crumbs. It was lovely being surrounded by music, sun and birds.
While admiring Chopin’s grave, there was a crow hanging around making weird noises (certainly not ones I’d ever heard from crows). It was odd and I think that it would have been creepy if I was superstitious. It made Chopin’s grave a little bit special for me.
It’s a sunset, but it’s a sunset seen from the top of L’Arc de Triomphe while most of the other tourists were glued to the other side waiting for the Eiffel Tower to light up. Seeing the Eiffel Tower light up was nice (especially as it was on the hour, so it sparkled), but my heart lies with sunsets.
I love gardens, especially when they’re a bit messy and slightly wild. Contrast in gardens is one of my favourite things and this image has stuck in my head as a reminder of the quiet afternoon when I walked to the Jardin des Plantes.
Water is a prominent feature of fountains, but sometimes it’s nice to see the fountain’s design without the water in the way. All of the fountains were turned off when we were at Versailles. While this was disappointing for some fountains, I was really happy to get an unimpeded look at this one. Bonus points: all the birds hanging out on the men and beasts. It’s almost comical to see them resting on sculptures that are full of ferocity.
Last, but not least, modern art in the Conciergerie. This might be one of my all time favourite things about my trip to Paris (one of several dozen, of course). I really love the contrast. There was also a lot of modern art in the Hotel de Ville, hung in the decorative halls and rooms. It was so wonderful to see old and new together.