After my trip to Paris last month, I thought it would be neat to see how I fared on my Paris Photo Scavenger Hunt.
A quick refresher.. prior to my trip I shared a list of typically Parisian sights that make for a fun photo scavenger hunt.
One thing I’d like to stress, is that my list is simply a suggestion. Part of the fun is getting creative to check items off the list.
Horrible photo. Sadly my only beret shot this trip. Like ripping off the bandaid, let’s get it out of the way first so we can move on to more fun things. Oui?
In a city like Paris, beautiful stained glass is ridiculously easy to find. Simply stepping through the doors of most churches will bring you up close and personal to beauties like this one at Èglise Saint-Séverin.
I’ve written about Saint-Séverin a few times here on MOTM, including this post where we took a look at the church’s interior.
I spotted this large piece by Parisian artist Aydar, from quite a distance, while sitting on a terrace eating pizza. After lunch I dragged my best friend, Stephanie, with me to get a closer look. She’s quite striking with her simple black and white colours and intricate design isn’t she?
I was waiting for the bus one afternoon when I looked over and noticed Place Louis Aragon (the area at the point on Ile Saint-Louis, one of 2 islands in Central Paris). On the busy Seine River, it’s a nice place to stop and reflect while taking in the action around you.
A Prancing Parisian Poodle!
There’s something like 20 carousels to be found around Paris, and this one is located in Jardin des Tuileries. Stephanie and I were headed to a big Christmas fare, which you can see some of its lights popping up in the background, when we passed this one. I liked the lighting here, and had to stop for a quick photo.
It was my last afternoon in Paris. Stephanie had left that morning and I was feeling quite sad about her going. We live hours apart so the next meetup could be years away with the ongoing plague situation. I was tempted to stay in bed watching trash television (I’m looking at you, Mamans & Célèbres!). But then I reminded myself that I was in my favourite city on the planet, and pushed myself to go out. A spur of the moment decision took me to Le Centre Pompidou to take in a birds’ eye view of Paris – including Sacré-Cœur in the distance.
Ornate Metro Sign
I’m not sure what you have where you live, but coming across these beautiful Art Nouveau entrances to the Paris metro system sure make the modern ones here in Vancouver look sad and pathetic in comparison. This one, the Cité metro station, is located on Île de la Cité next to a flower market.
Remember how I said at the top of this post that the list is simply a suggestion? I’ve been to the Louvre once and I, unlike millions, have zero interest in returning. Which means capturing a photo of the real Mona Lisa isn’t going to happen. When I saw these on a walk during a walk through Le Marais, I realised they were the perfect substitution for the scavenger hunt.
One morning Stephanie and I enjoyed a petit-déjeuner of cappuccino, fresh pressed orange juice, pastries and a baguette on the terrace of a random restaurant. I love a good croissant but that baguette slathered in French butter .. chef’s kiss!
As Stephanie and I finished our breakfast, a gentleman drove up to park the silver car at the top of the shot. He hit the curb quite dramatically. I looked up and we made eye contact before we both started laughing. He opened his window and said something in French which I didn’t understand. Embarrassed, I muttered that I only speak English. He asked where we’re from. Canada, I smiled. He smiled back, and said something along the lines of smiling being the true international language. We wished each other a bonne journée and carried on with our respective days. It was such a lovely exchange between strangers, albeit brief, the kind I’ll remember for years to come.
I have a really annoying habit of excitedly saying, “There she is!”, whenever the Eiffel Tower comes into view. Even when I’m traveling alone. I can’t help myself. So with Paris being mainly flat, and her being so tall, it’s not uncommon to hear me repeat that multiple times a day while I’m out and about.
I wrote about the Eiffel Tower in more depth here. Check it out for the kind of useless knowledge that my inner nerd lives for!
At the same restaurant we enjoyed our breakfast above, I noticed this teddy bear at the opposite end of the terrace. There’s a neat history to these bears (known as Teddy Bears of the Gobelins), which you can read about here. And if you’d like to learn more about the terraces of Paris, I couldn’t explain it better than this article on Paris Perfect.
I put love locks on the list simply because they’re ubiquitous in Paris, making them an easy item to cross of your list. But, man, do I hate them.
You can read more about them in a previous post, here. On a positive note, at least Big Guy was nowhere to get seen during this most recent visit to Paris!
I’ve probably mentioned before that I’m very clumsy. I’ve broken multiple bones in each foot, multiple times. So I spend a lot of time looking at the ground while walking, just to be safe. Especially somewhere like Paris where the ground can be made from a mishmash of materials at different levels. While walking down the sidewalk one day, I noticed how pretty it was with the mix of cobblestones and couldn’t help but make a quick video.
Fontaine Saint-Michel was installed back during the great renovation of Paris, when Baron Haussmann changed the look and flow to the city we know today. Place Saint-Michel is a popular meeting spot for people due to its convenient location. Crossing from one side to the other, in my experience, usually means sidestepping and dodging other pedestrians and street performers. During this most recent trip, however, the Place was home to a Christmas Market and I was able to sneak in a photo of the fountain sans people – which is something I’ve wanted to do for years.
I looove me a croissant. During a previous trip to Paris I even took part in a class to learn the art of making them myself (which you can read about here). So when I learned that a bakery near to our hotel had bragging rights of winning the best butter croissants in Paris back in 2018, it was obvious that we’d be trying theirs.
The line at La Maison d’Isabelle can be looong, so if you decide to go and would prefer to avoid the crowds, go late in the day like we did. We excitedly ordered several and carefully carried them back to our room.
They were .. a disappointment.
Both Stephanie and I really disliked them. The layered flakiness was admirable but the burnt tops and bottoms (along with an unidentifiable taste that we can only describe as ‘propane but not quite’) made them inedible. Perhaps it was just a bad day for the bakery – there are enough rave reviews online to make me suspect this – but I know that I’ll never go back. They were that bad. And life is too short for bad croissants.
Shortly before leaving for Paris I read an article about a change to the flags hung around the country, specifically the shift from bright blue to navy being used in the tricolour flag. The change has been made quietly, without much fanfare or an official statement. This one, located at the Gendarmerie Nationale-Garde Républicaine on rue de la Banque, includes the brighter blue – while many around the city don’t. It’s one of those things you need to know about in order to notice.
Marché Baudoyer, a smaller market with approximately 15 vendors, sells a variety of products from fresh produce to flowers to meats and fish. It’s also the first market in the city to have traded in the afternoons, as markets were always traditionally a morning thing.
The famed Red Windmill, or Moulin Rouge, has been a favourite for many since the late 19th century. While I’ve only ever stopped for a photo before carrying on, I’ve heard that dinner and a performance costs a pretty penny – so I’m likely never going to make it inside to check out its Belle Epoque-style theatre. Have you been?
This is the second time that Èglise Saint-Séverin has been mentioned in this post, this time because of its impressive 18th century organ.
Look up. Way up. Dotted around the facade of Basilica Cathedral of Saint Denis you’ll find these fantastically fancy drain spouts, also known as gargoyles.
Stephanie spotted this cat, and several more, high up on a building facade. A bit of research tells me that the building was once upon a time home to a confectionery called, “Au Chat Noir”.
Stephanie and I regularly discuss Paris and one thing that always makes its way into our conversations are eclairs. Years ago we shared 2 from Eric Kayser so when I was on my way back to the hotel one evening, I stopped in to pick up a couple for dessert. One chocolate and one coffee, just like the first time. They were just as delicious as we remembered.
You may have noticed that I’ve not included photos for 2 things; crepes and macarons. This was accidental. Both are super easy to find, yet for some reason I overlooked photographing either. Next time!
And that’s a wrap, folks!
Feel free to print this page and bring it with you. And once you’re back home, you’ll have an album of quintessential Paris photos.
If you decide to take part, tag me on Instagram so I can see your photos!