"Those who have experienced Paris have advantage over those who have not. We are the ones who have glimpsed a little bit of heaven, down here on earth." - Deirdre Kelly

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Jardin des Tuilieries

Tuileries Pathway to Place de la Concorde

There's something magical about this place. Something that calls to me...

The Jardin des Tuileries was created by Marie de Medicis in 1564. But the garden didn't open to the public - fittingly - until after the French Revolution (1899 - liberte, egalite, faternite!) Le Jardin is...surprising. It's a huge garden smack dab in the middle of Paris, bordered by some of the most famous museums in the world: Le Louvre, Musee D'Orsay, and L'Orangerie.  

Le Louvre

Musee D'Orsay

Of course, the gardens are usually filled with people (tourists and natives alike). I was only able to get these 'people empty' shots because I visited on a particularly cold rainy morning. On any day, any time of year, the garden's are simply stunning. But what has always really struck me about Tuileries is how it practically and conceptually acts as a public living room.

One of the 2 large cafes at Tuileries

Fall (mid-September to late October) is, in my opinion, the best time of year to visit Paris. The vast hordes of tourists have mostly left, leaving the park filled primarily by natives and expats and prime cafe people watching ensues: a group of highschool girls - fabulously chic, drinking espresso all of them smoking; - families, lots of families. Parents, grandparents, children all laughing and talking; - couples and groups of couples. It's easy to fall into this type of lifestyle:

 Peter and Rory playing football in the Tuileries

The girls enjoying the sun (clockwise: Coco, Sage, Dorothy & Me)

My glorious 3 (Sage, Never, & Rory)

We have a daily plan when we're in Paris: we take a taxi to our first destination of the day, set up the stroller and get to exploring. When we're done for the day, we walk home from wherever we are in the city. Since we live practically beneath the Eiffel Tower (roughly in the middle of the city), anywhere we walk home from is not more than a 3 mile walk. The middle leg of our walk home always takes us through the Tuileries - a gravel path straight through an amazing stand of trees. It's our short cut home, probably the most fantabulous shortcut that ever existed!

 Our short cut home through the Tuileries

We usually stop at one of the cafes for a fortifying cup of hot chocolate, cafe creme and/or glass of wine. While mom, Pete and the kids are resting up for the 2nd leg of the walk home, I like to wander around the garden with my trusty Nikon. But that's for my next post...

Vivre, rire, aimer!


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