As a general rule of thumb, I take the metro but on the few occasions that I have taken the bus it was fun watching the world go by than avoiding eye contact in the metro.
Today being Boxing Day, with the traffic not too bad I decided on the bus. However trying to find where the bus stop was in Chatelet was a bit of a challenge and nearly gave up, deciding I could have already arrived at my destination by now, when low and behold the number 58 bus zooms by and I think to myself, follow that bus.
I watch it take a few turns and I am off after it like a crazy barking dog.
Millimetres between a parked truck and our bus, we slither through the narrow streets of the left bank on streets not designed for the large modern busses of today.
Jumping off earlier than anticipated, I could see that I had already arrived at my destination; Le Marché aux Puces de Vanves the antique and flea market near the periphery of Paris in the 14th arrondissement.
Within seconds of arriving I had purchased three thick linen tea towels.
Remembering last time I took photographs at a street side flea market, even after asking permission, I was shooed away.
This time I decided to use the trusty iphone and be a little more covert about it and it seemed to do the trick.
During my annual Paris research, I had stumbled across what promised to be a pretty Chapel behind an unassuming green door in the 6th arrondissement. La Chapelle Saint-Vincent-de-Paul.
Sure enough a few doors down from the Vaneau metro station, a woman sitting on the steps of the Chapel begging for money was the only hint of what lie behind the green doors.
Last night I managed to bang my head on the very inconveniently located fuse box above the fridge and it hurt like hell. Now, I know that one probably shouldn’t swear in a place of worship but when I banged my head again, this time on the niche supporting a statue of Mary I may have whispered an expletive.
*please click on the images for a better view
The dimly lit pretty chapel with a spectacular blue and gold ceiling and a slightly creepy wax effigy of Saint Vincent de Paul was worth the bang on the head.
Who would know that all that beauty could be tucked behind such a plain and simple façade.
It seemed only appropriate after visiting The Chapel of Saint Vincent de Paul that next on my list was Chapelle Notre-Dame de la Médaille Miraculeuse, The Chapel of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal. Located next to the Bon Marché department store on Rue du Bac.
The queues lining up in the gift shop to buy a medal was long, I was quite surprised at how busy the Chapel was considering most churches I visit in Paris there is barely a soul around, often I have the whole church to myself, not this time.
It is said that apart from other numerous apparitions, Saint Catherine Labouré claimed to see Saint Vincent de Paul three times, showing her his heart in three different colours.
The Lyon born architect Jules Aimé Lavirotte who some would know for his fabulously famous building at 29 Avenue Rapp in Paris, also has about 9 buildings still standing in the 7th arrondissement, some of which I wanted to discover today.
The light was fading fast and unfortunately for me the last rays of sunshine were not beaming down on 151 Rue de Grenelle and 12 Rue Sedillot, but I did my best to admire and photograph them.
I am not an Architectural Specialist.
Like some say with art, I just know what I like and don’t.
However, I love Jules Aimé Lavirotte’s quirky and whimsical touches. Like his strange and wonderful lizard door handles.
No doubt I am wrong, but there is a sense of Gaudi for me in his work.
In my opinion, 29 Avenue Rapp in the 7th arrondissement of Paris is his pièce de résistance.
A totally stunning piece of work.
For some strange reason, I always seem to be in this area when it is dark and fail to capture it but today, giggling at this realisation and wondering why this is so, I think I managed to get some shots this time.
An outstanding buidling but it is reasonable to understand that some people could simply walk passed Jules Aimé Lavirotte’s masterpiece at 29 Avenue Rapp because if you happen to be facing the other way, opposite this quirky and magnificent building you will find views of the Eiffel Tower looming in front of you.
The sun was setting over Paris after yet another beautiful blue sky sunny day with a pink hue filling the sky and although I knew I wouldn’t make it to the Trocadéro in time to capture the glorious natural display, I simply headed that way anyway and enjoyed the moment.
My feeling this year that the city was quiet and lacked locals out and about and that tourists had abandoned Paris abruptly came to a realisation. I was completely and utterly wrong.
Surrounding the Eiffel Tower, underneath the Eiffel Tower and massive lines to visit the temporary ice skating rink on the first floor of the Eiffel Tower had the whole entire area pumping with people.
Perhaps it was the good weather, perhaps it was the determination of Parisians and tourists alike who would not let a disaster like the heinous acts that took place on the 13th of November 2015, to deter them from enjoying the City Of Light.
Either way it was good to see and annoying for me, I simply wanted Paris all to myself.
Of course that is never going to happen in this glorious city.
With all it’s magnificent architecture, a way of life that has the world jealous and flocking to the City of Light and Love, and the fantastic way in which the Parisians embrace life and carry on in the face of adversity, how wonderful it was to watch Paris buzzing about and enjoying the balmy winter weather.