Paris: Interesting Sights & Sounds.

 

We just happened to be there. 

During our recent travel to Paris, we went to visit the usual tourist spots to get a feel of the city. While we were going about doing this, we were able to see some local happenings (interesting ones too), just because we happened to be in the area. It not only surprised us but gave us a good perspective of the city. It’s good to keep a look-out for these things as you won’t be able to find it in the local maps or guide books.

 

Scene 1: A march to the Notre Dame Cathedral. 

Procession Avec Les Saints pour L'eglise Persecutee

Procession Avec Les Saints pour L’eglise Persecutee or Procession with the Saints for the Persecuted Church.

This was taken from the bus as we were stopped by the local police to allow a group of procession march towards the Notre Dame Cathedral. People of all ages joined this procession with a few on wheelchairs followed by cars behind them. They were holding signage or posters with symbols of the fate for the All Saints Day in Paris. The procession is to celebrate the end of the persecution for Catholics which happened in 1550.

 

Scene 2: Witnessing a friendly protest.

A small protest in the city.

A small protest in the city.

The reason why I mentioned it’s a friendly protest is because it was a small group of people marching in front of a statue in Paris. I couldn’t recall the actual location but I recalled hearing the cheer of this particular protest from the bus. The people who saw this as they went by didn’t seem bothered by this commotion (as though it happens everyday) and continued to walk by them.

 

Scene 3: Paris Rollerblading activity.

We saw this by chance as we walked along the Pont du Artes, looking at the stalls selling arts and vintage books. We didn’t realize the empty road then until a policeman blew a whistle and we saw the first line of skaters coming towards us in their orange t-shirts (probably the marshals). Behind them was a large group of people made up of families with young children, old folks, teenagers and adults coming up the road at their own pace.

 

Scene 4: Traffic in the city.

Traffic at Place Concorde.

Traffic at Place Concorde.

Traffic is not unusual especially when it happens during peak hour. This was one of them captured in Paris while we were heading towards the Magdalene building. I had trouble understanding how the traffic system works in this city because sometimes the light says green but when we go there would be cars coming towards us from the left as it’s a green light for them too. We were lucky not to be on the opposite side of the road as people were seen leaving the city centre at this hour.

 

Scene 5: Bubble play at the Eiffel Tower.

Kids playing bubbles at the Eiffel Tower.

Kids playing bubbles at the Eiffel Tower.

In my previous post “Eiffel Tower in Photos” I shared a photo of a lovely bubble maker (I coined this up myself) in the park just below the Eiffel Tower. He was in smiles as he picked up the sticks, dipped it in soap water before allowing the gusty wind to create a large bubble. The children giggled as they ran after the bubbles trying to burst them and another round of magical bubbles floated in the air. They didn’t mind the cold as the running around kept them warm.

 

Scene 6: Crowd watching a street-side show.

That must bequite a performance at Fontaine Saint Michel.

That must have been quite a performance at Fontaine Saint Michel.

In Paris musicians can be seen in the underground train tunnels and sometimes in the train itself. I remembered taking a train from Louis-Michel station when this father and son duo came on the train singing with their own microphone as well as a speaker. The Parisian are not bothered by this and are seen giving tips to the performers. The same action can be seen above ground such as this one that we saw the Saint Michel Fountain facing the main road and busy intersection in the city. A hip hop dance performance was taking place and the crowd just grew as he did some twists and turns (on his head) to maintain their attention. It made other passerby and drivers go slowly pass this road to watch the commotion taking place.

 

Scene 7: Fashion is everywhere in Paris.

Paris equals fashion perfection.

Paris equals fashion perfection.

The city of fashion lived up to its name with the French dressing stylishly from the underground subway train ride (I kept glancing at these two elderly women with perfectly coiffed hair and red lipstick chatting while waiting for their next stop) to lunch-ins and street curbs. Basically everywhere we went, we paid attention to what they wore because it was stylish and in season. Fashion advertising such as this Georgia Mania featuring the daughter of Mick Jagger can be seen on buses train stations. It’s no wonder people flock to this city to for the latest designs of Louis Vuitton, Gucci and Dolce & Gabbana.

 

Scene 8: A busy looking Louvre. 

Weekend hangout at the Louvre.

Weekend hangout at the Louvre.

One of my favorite part of getting on the local bus is when it prepares itself to go through the archway of the Louvre because you get to see a peak preview of the iconic building. I got excited at this point because I knew what was waiting on the other side and there it was, the grand Louvre Museum with the triangle shaped glass pyramid and a long queue leading into the building. Cyclists, cute cyclo taxis were seen making their out from the square and onto their next destination.

 

Scene 9: Breakfast and brunch at a Parisian cafe. 

Brunch-ing like a Parisian.

Brunch-ing like a Parisian.

 You know you’re in Paris when you see cafes with chairs facing the main road and people sitting this way instead of facing each other. I guess when you’re in an exciting city where anything can happen, this makes perfect sense. We tried this during our stay in the city and we felt more comfortable sitting across each other than side by side. It was nice to be able to do some people-watching but they also can watch you watching them as they walk in front of the cafes.

 

Scene 10: Picnicking on Air France greens. 

A sunny day calls for a picnic at Air France.

A sunny day calls for a picnic at Air France.

When the sun decided to show up for the day, people clamor to the parks and picnic on whichever greens they can get their blankets on for the day. This was one of those scenes in front of Air France as we headed towards Champs Elysee.  From the main road you could see them sitting on the grass, playing friendly sports with their friends and occasional basking in the sun ray before the weather turned cold again.

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Have you had any similar experiences or seen a different sight of Paris?

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About Yafieda Jamil

A Malaysian girl currently working abroad in Phnom Penh city. I love a good road trip, hot cappuccinos, spicy food and staring at old buildings. My mission is to inspire people to see the world differently before we all get any older. Oh and giraffes are the most beautiful creatures on earth.

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