Just before we left for France, a friend recommended we take a walking tour with a gentleman he had toured with several years earlier. An excellent recommendation. I contacted Gary Lee Kraut, an American expat who has taken up residence in Paris and edits the web magazine, France Revisited. Gary also offers tours of Paris and France. Due to scheduling conflicts, we were unable to hook up with Gary until our next to last day in France. Regardless, our nine-hour sojourn with him was fascinating, educational and simply spectacular. We ate, drank and walked our way through the Left and Right Banks, into nooks and crannies not usually seen by tourists, and learned some etiquette that will help us on our next trip to France. (Always make eye contact when toasting – don’t look at your glass – and don’t cross over anyone else’s arm. Superstition has it you will have 7 years of bad S-E-X. That’s bad luck in the very worst way!)
Although we had already walked through the Garden of the Great Explorers and the Luxembourg Gardens on our own, our tour guide gave us a fresh perspective and placed them in context. Every statue, building and feature has a story; too many stories to try to recap here. My recommendation – put on your walking shoes and find a guide to learn about the city. Your money will be very well spent!
People enjoying the afternoon in the Garden of the Grand Explores.
This very, very cool building is the Institute of Art and Archaeology of the University of Paris on the west side of the Garden of the Grand Explorers.
Bride and groom strolling Luxembourg Park with their photographer.
In the grounds of tbe garden, looking at Luxembourg Palace.
Sailing boats in the pool in front of the Luxembourg Palace.
Clock and relief detail on the Luxembourg Palace.
The Medici fountain in the Luxembourg Gardens, Polyphemus Surprising Acis and Galatea, by sculptor Auguste Ottin.
Stature of a Greek Actor in Luxembourg Gardens.
Just your average subway stop – Art Deco style.
The Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Paris – Sacré-Coeur Basilica -located at the summit of the butte Montmartre, the highest point in the city
And . . . a view of the City from Sacré-Coeur Basilica.