Paris - Streets and Cityscapes
It’s always interesting to look back at moments through photography especially moments during travel. Everything is tinted by a certain distant nostalgia filtered through mood and every other external influencing factors. Were the leaves really that vivid? Were the vistas really that inviting? Did the streets really wind their way into your heart the way they have wound up there in retrospect?
I am in the process of putting the majority of my Paris photography online in one way or another. I am populating my Paris Pinterest board, adding to my Flickr Paris album (linked below), and I will eventually launch a travel photography portfolio site which will be part of my main photography portfolio.
A number of people have messaged me via email and my Twitter asking what cameras and lenses I used while in Paris. All of my Paris photos were taken with my Sony A99 and Sony A7R. I used the Zeiss 24-70mm f/4 lens with the A7R and the Zeiss 16-35mm f/2.8 with the A99. For the interior photos I have posted like in this post about The Palace of Fontainebleau, all photos were hand-held. In fact, I did have a tripod with me but I used it to shoot video (more on that in a future post!).
1 - Spring flowers and stormy skies at Jardin du Luxembourg
2 - A view of Paris looking out towards the Eiffel Tower from the rooftop of Galeries Lafayette.
3 - A cat stops to ponder why I am so happy standing on this street in Montmartre with my camera, of course. ;)
4 - A sunlit street in the neighborhood of Buttes Chaumont.
5 - Spring blossoms on the Promenade Plantée in Paris (also known as Coulée Verte). I discovered that Paris has its own elevated park (that pre-dates NYC’s High Line!) with Rendez Vous with Paris. Pretty awesome.
6 - There is a really interesting story that goes with this photo that was sort of surreal in a cool way. So, prior to my Paris trip, I pinned a number of Paris photos I found on Pinterest to my Paris Pinterest Board hoping to visit the locations in the pins. This particular location is on Rue Ramponeau in Belleville, Paris.
On the final day that I was in Paris, Hugo and Gael from Rendez Vous with Paris took Katherine and I for a ride around Paris on their Vespas (the best time!). Hugo had told me earlier in the week that the view in the pin I pinned (which was totally random) looked like it was taken from his mother’s apartment complex. It turns out that the pin was a photo taken from almost the same location as the vantage point of his family’s Belleville apartment. And so, we rode to his mother’s apartment, met his mother (who was lovely) and pondered how strange it was that the view was indeed eerily similar.
7 - La Maison Rose in Montmartre, Paris.
8 - A hidden courtyard in Versailles City.
9 - Paris alleys are so charming.
10 - Few people seem to know that you can climb 300 steps up a very, very narrow staircase which will take you to the top of the Sacre Coeur in Montmartre which gives you an impressive view of all of Paris.
All of my Paris posts so far:
Paris Through the Lens
Looking for these (and more) Paris photos to view larger? Here you go (click or tap on each photo to view larger):
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Paris Day Trips: The Palace of Fontainebleau
While in Paris, I was able to take a few different day trips to the outskirts of Paris to visit some truly awe-inspiring places. One of the trips was to visit the Chateau de Fontainebleau. The palace is located 55 kilometres south-east of Paris in the sub-prefecture of Seine-et-Marne. I took the Paris metro to Gare de Lyon where I hopped on another train to the destination. After I got off of the train, it was just a simple taxi ride to the palace which makes this a great day trip destination.
Dating back to the 12th century, the Palace of Fontainebleau has over 1500 rooms (!) , 130 acres of land, and is the only palace that has been continuously inhabited for over seven centuries hosting many royal families. Its proximity to the large forest of Fontainebleau made it a prime location for the Kings of France.
I was able to go on a great tour of the palace and while I only saw a few rooms, I learned so much about the palace and the Kings and Queens who inhabited the rooms we visited.
Here is a little tour of the views and rooms:
This is the Gallery of Diana. It’s one of my favorite areas of the palace that I visited. The Gallery was rebuilt in the 19th century to serve as a banquet area and then a library for Napolean III:
You may recognize some of the details of this space from the Lana Del Rey video Born to Die since the opening sequence for the music video was filmed here. It’s the Trinity chapel which was was built in the 16th century to replace a church in the same spot originally built by Saint Louis. Louis XV was wed in this chapel in the 1700s and Napoleon III was baptized in the chapel in the early 1800s.
Another view of the Trinity Chapel:
Located in the former medieval keep that existed on the site, this is the Second Saint Louis room. It served as the King’s bedroom until Henri IV when it served as an antechamber. Many of the paintings depict scenes from Henri IV’s life.
(Click on the Read More below to see more photos from the Palace of Fontainebleau…)
Paris - Rooms with a View: My experiences and views of Paris during my stay at Citadines Tour Eiffel
I had the pleasure of staying at Citadines - Tour Eiffel for 3 nights during my visit to Paris. Located in the former village of Grenelle, Citadines - Tour Eiffel is in a prime location situated across from a major metro hub with tons of cafes, restaurants, and marketplaces all within walking distance. It is also quite close to the Eiffel Tower, the Seine, Invalides, and Champs des Mars. In fact, while staying there, I was able to easily take the metro across the street to Versailles (with a transfer) for the day which made things quite convenient.
The really cool thing about the hotel is that some of the rooms on the upper floors of the hotel feature really beautiful views of the Eiffel Tower.
However, what makes this hotel standout from many others is that it is known as an aparthotel or apartment hotel because it also functions as a place to stay for extended periods of time if you wish. People can stay for a few nights, a few weeks, a month, a few months, even a year if that is what they wish. This makes this a great place for families or individuals looking to relocate who may need a habitable living space centrally located in the city they are trying to relocate to. It also makes it a great place for people who are looking to try to live in a city to get a feel for the city while having the comforts of home.
An intriguing facet of staying at an aparthotel is that not only do you have the comforts that you would associate with an apartment such as a fully functional kitchen and living area but you get the amenities and benefits of hotel living as well. For example, Citadines aparthotels offer various cleaning arrangements for all guests as well as other perks that you would typically associate with staying in a hotel. Only you can enjoy these perks during your extended stay in any of the Citadines locations all over Europe and the Asia Pacific.
I had a great stay there during my time in Paris. I had the misfortune of getting quite sick with bronchitis while in Paris and the staff at Citadines Tour Eiffel were really wonderful when it came to getting me the medical help I needed and making my stay pleasant while I recovered. I really enjoyed the fact that there was a Monoprix right across the street. The Monoprix there had a huge grocery section which allowed me to buy reasonably priced groceries that I was able to store in the refrigerator. This was a great relief to my wallet since it let me save money on certain meals since I could use the kitchen in my room.
And of course, I loved the views. But that goes without saying, right? :)
Here is a little tour of the views and rooms:
This was the view from my hotel room while I was taking long exposures of the Eiffel Tower at night. It was nice to be able to do long exposures right from inside my room! :
(I took this photo with my Sony A99 of my Sony a7R propped up on my travel tripod which is the Brian Evolution 2 Tripod made by 3 Legged Thing)
And here is the photo I was taking of the night view of the Eiffel Tower while taking that behind the scenes photo above:
If you follow my Instagram, I posted a video of the Eiffel Tower’s light show that I filmed with my phone from the window of my room at Citadines - Tour Eiffel. It’s a pretty impressive view and I had a blast watching the light show every night.
I had the pleasure of getting a tour of some of the most in-demand suites at Citadines - Tour Eiffel. This is the view from the most in-demand room there due to the absolutely awesome view that you can have from the comfort of your bed:
And this is the balcony view from that same room. It’s a great place to hang out and take in views of Paris:
(Click on the Read More below to see more photos from Citadines - Tour Eiffel including room interiors…)