Sept 19 The Arctic via Iceland & Paris: Part 1 Paris

In Dec 2015 We visited Argentina & Antarctica (see entry on this blog Dec 2015/Jan 2016) so I knew it would just be a question of time before we would go off to the Arctic to see, hopefully,the Northern Lights and get some photography done in Iceland too.

Leaving Cape Town – never seen a sunset from here LOL – cell pic

It took almost a year in the planning and given that we had the choice of getting to Iceland direct from Cape Town via either London (no!) or Paris (Yes) we elected to go that route and invited Camilla & Andrew to join us in Paris for a few days.

Cameras used here: Lumix Panasonic G9 – 2 bodies with Leica 100-400, f1.2 nocticron 42.5 prime, 8-18 lens & 35-100 lens, Also Lumix FZ300 bridge camera and the Samsung S6 odd cell shot.

I spent a lot of time in France when I was a child and grew to hate the noise & frenetic pace in Paris, but Lin had never been so I put away my prejudices and am I glad I did. I have to say that after over 40 years since I was last there I thoroughly enjoyed every minute in that most beautiful of Cities – well done Baron Hausmann for the planning of that magnificent city albeit with a Notre Dame under re-construction and much hidden by scaffolding; that in itself was a work of art.

An unusual view – nearly got trampled on –

Camilla, clever sticks that she is found an air b&b within 2 mins walk of the Arc De Triomphe – small does not begin to describe it, but who cares ? It was just a place to lay our heads and was totally convenient. We “assumed” that Andrew & she would either fly or take the train over but in the event, leaving the arrivals hall at Charles De Gaulle we get greeted by their smiley faces and the added bonus of a chauffeur as they drove over from London and found a parking garage right opposite where we were staying. What a bonus that was and the cherry on the top – beautiful weather and a BWM convertable 🙂

Stairs in the air-b&b (no breakfast though) and Paris rooftop view from the landing

Leese Geese being driven around Paris

Breakfast – usual rude waiters – (and I speak French)

The Eiffel Tower, an early viewing – different angle 🙂

A visit to Monmartre and Sacre Coeur – took us 3 attempts to get in as the Police had closed it due to a bomb scare –

Tree-Huggers Paradise – thank goodness we only saw this after breakfast – (yep Camilla)

What a sensible municipal scheme – you have to see the ease & speed that the workers replace these rubbish bags all over Paris !

The Classic Metro Sign

As we had the car it was an easy thing to drive across Paris (yes) and go to the fantastic “Pere La Chaise” Cemetery which covers acres of ground and has many famous monuments –
Memorial to Photographers of Cemeteries – google “Necropolitaine”

Check the busted cello

Not what I would have expected for Oscar Wilde

Let us never forget the Nazis –

Well he was popular with the Girls or maybe the Boys LOL

Edith Piaf

Let me out or a cry for help ?

Street Photography – Paris is full of these “App” operated scooters and even though they only go at about 25kmph they wizz around like maniacs – you really have to pay attention – when they run out of “air-time” people just dump them and a van comes around to collect at some point.

A Paris “Ashtray” – it is amazing how many people still smoke here

And then to Notre Dame – Sad but still magnificent especially the restoration operation in full swing –

Golden Hour & Sunset –

Then back to the Eiffel Tower – plus it was full moon –

Andrew proposing to his cell phone – I guess that’s what Paris does to one LOL

The Cliche shot

Beautiful Streets & Buildings

Finally into Sacre Coeur

The madness of the traffic at the Arc De Triomphe – free for all – hesitate and you’ve lost it – Andrew achieved this incident free on several occasions – bear in mind driving a right hand drive car on the “wrong” side of the road 🙂 LOL

A trip to Paris would not be complete without a boat ride down La Seine –

On our way back from The Arctic via Iceland we stayed at an hotel right at the Gard Du Nord thinking this would be a good idea for getting back to the airport – well the hotel was fine – We came on the train from Ch De Gaulle; but what a nightmare it was getting out of the station into the street and the crowds have to be seen to be believed – we reckoned that in spite of having bought a return ticket for the train we would rather take the shuttle bus, and as it was for a Sunday the traffic would be light at that early time of the morning – and it was – HOWEVER, arriving at the airport – La Toute Monde was there and the security a total balls up nightmare – we caught our flight with 2 minutes to spare – a first for someone who is NEVER late – two other people also made it after us – I was expecting a slow hand clap as we did the passageway walk of shame to our seats ! Paris airport allow THREE hours……

Gard Du Nord Area of Paris

My Goodness “People are living there”

So that was Paris and what an enjoyable time we had especially with Andrew & Camilla at the beginning – exceeded my expectations. Expensive yes but what would you expect LOL

To follow in due course Part 2: ICELAND, South East of Reykjavik; Part 3: ICELAND North West of Reykjavik and Reykjavik itself; Part 4: Quark – Boating up into the Arctic regions off Greenland –

Paris Google Photo Album at: PHOTO ALBUM