Paris in the Fall

Since we are spending so much time at home lately with social distancing, I find myself looking through old photos and reminiscing about being outside and exploring. I thought I’d share my favorite photos from our first anniversary trip to see Paris in the fall, November 2018.

In no particular order, here are some of my fave photos/memories….

Seeing two of Monet’s paintings that feature a figure in the landscape, Woman with a Parasol, Turned to the Right and Woman with a Parasol, Turned to the Left:

Paris Monet

Those paintings are in the Musée d’Orsay, which was once a train station and is now such a cool space to explore art.

See that old train station clock? It’s in the Beaux-Arts style that was popular in France in the late 1800s.

We spent an afternoon wandering the Champs-Élysées, seeing the Arc de Triomphe and exploring the shops…

Champs Élysées

The trees were a lovely orange color this time of year! I love fall colors.

Champs Élysées

We ate at Ladurée on the Champs-Élysées, something that I’d been wanting to do for years! It definitely lived up to the hype, our late lunch was amazing….

Ladurée Champs Élysées

And of course, we had to try their macaron specialities. Plus several macarons for take-away!

Speaking of food, for our anniversary dinner we did a dinner cruise along the Seine – what an amazing experience! Dinner was great, but my favorite part was seeing so many famous sites of Paris from the river – a totally different perspective from the sightseeing we had done in the day time.

Checking out Notre-Dame in between courses…

Seine River Cruise

So cool to see the city by night from the river.

To compare and contrast, here is a photo I took of Notre-Dame the day before from a nearby bridge….

Paris Notre Dame

Loved floating underneath that same bridge later during the dinner.

My favorite neighborhood for sightseeing in Paris is definitely Montmartre. I love going here in the evening and watching the sunset from the top of the steps leading up to the Sacré-Coeur….

Paris Montmartre Sacré Coeur Steps

The views over the city from up here are beautiful.

And the neighborhood is great for walking around, grabbing a bite, and just taking in the evening.

Last but not least, one of my favorite memories from this trip is hopping the scooters to scoot our way along the Seine in style. We rode from the Louvre all the way to the Eiffel Tower, and it felt like a great way to save time and still see the city up close!

Paris in the Fall Scooter

So fun.

Best wishes to everyone self-isolating and social distancing out there. I hope these photos provided a moment of escape for you, like they did for me.


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Sounds of Paris

Montmartre Sacré Coeur Steps


Paris is a musical city.  One of the stand-out impressions for me was the music being played live all other the place.  So! Here are three videos of musicians entertaining all over Paris.

On the steps of the Sacré-Coeur, a harpist playing the French classic La Vie en Rose ….

Musicians randomly jump on trains in the metro system, play a quick song or two, and jump off again in a few stops.  Their music is always lively, and I especially like these two guys playing guitar and accordion.  I didn’t get any video – the audio is set to some of my pictures of the Parisian Metro.

This guy was also playing on the steps of the Sacré-Coeur. It’s a popular place for impromptu music because soooo many tourists are in the area.

I loved the music all around Paris. : )

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A Saturday at Versailles, part II

Versailles Hallway

During our field study trip focusing on institutions of the European Union, my study abroad program offered the chance to explore the Palace of Versailles near Paris. In Part I, I shared some photos of the grounds and architecture outside.  Now, here’s some photos from inside the Palace!

Once inside, anything and everything you see is incredibly ornate and decadent. From the bookshelves…

Bookshelves in the Palace

…to the clocks…

Palace Clock

…and even to the ceilings!

Ceiling Details

We went on a Saturday, and the Palace was jam-packed with people eager to see the famous home of the 17th-18th century French royal family. It was especially crowded in the renowned Hall of Mirrors, where the Treaty of Versailles was signed, ending World War I.

In the Hall, one long wall is full of towering windows which each directly face a mirror, so that all the reflecting sunlight makes this room seem the brightest and most open….

hall of mirrors.

The Hall of Mirrors is soooo fancy that it makes other parts of the Palace seem tame!

Versailles Hallway

Getting the chance to walk around inside and outside at Versailles was a great opportunity.  There was something there for everyone  –  history, art, landscaping, gardens, architecture, design…. It’s a one-of-a-kind place!

Corner Ceiling of Versailles

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A Saturday at Versailles, Part I

Versailles Gate

During our field study trip to Paris, my study abroad program provided an optional excursion to Versailles (just like the optional trip to the Swiss Alps) to see the famous Palace that served as the seat of political power in France for about 100 years in the 17th-18th century.

The Palace of Versailles is enormous. It features vast gardens, lavish decor, gold leaf everywhere, and extremely detailed interior and exterior architecture. The size and decadence of the place is overwhelming and pretty in the embellished, extravagant way.

Your first entry into the Palace is marked by a long, gilded gate….

Gate to the Palace

My favorite part of the Palace was the extensive garden, full of walking paths and fountains. Here’s a picture of one section of the garden:

Gardens of Versailles

I loved the endlessness and simple lines of the landscape. It was a cold day during our visit, but I bet this garden is even more breathtaking in the springtime….

Versailles Gardens

I noticed a lot of clocks around Versailles as well, both inside and outside. They make a great architectural detail….

Palace of Versailles Details

In part II, I’ll share some photos from inside the Palace!

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