June 1, 2015
I’ve left Denmark (and some lovely Danes) behind to continue on to Paris, the City of Lights, the City of Romance…possibly the most photographed city in the world and with good reason. It’s beautiful here. I get it now. I didn’t really understand the appeal before, but standing in the middle of so much history and so much beauty I can say that I understand why millions flock here every year and why some keep coming back for more.
To help with our bearings and get a birds eye view we went to The Centre Pompidou and for €3 you can ascend to the 6th floor for a “view of Paris.” Access to the museum itself is €14 and the view is included with that. One thing to note with the Centre Pompidou is that the view is not 360 and a lot of it is in a covered plastic tube with little windows that are open. I was hoping it would be open air and I could get some nice panoramic shots, but unfortunately that wasn’t the case (for €3 though I can’t really complain). There is a restaurant on the 6th floor that looked very nice (ie. expensive) that seemed to have a large, uncovered view so that could always be an option if you’re feeling fancy.
From the Pompidou we wandered down to the Seine where we took a cruise of the river with Vedettes du Pont Neuf. The cruise was about an hour, narrated in French and English, and covered a lot of the major sites.
Our cruise departed at 10pm, second last of the night, just after the sun had gone down and the city started to glow. I wanted to take the cruise at night because of how the city would be lit, but I failed to think about how pictures would turn out in the dark, on a quick moving boat.
The highlight was the Eiffel Tower, which was lit up and sparkling as we went past.
The reason we chose Vedettes du Pont Neuf was because they had pretty decent reviews and a good price (€10 pp if booked in advance). I thought the commentary was good, you could hear the guide despite the school group that chatted the whole time, and really it’s just a taste of what the city has to offer.
Try arriving a bit early and choose your seat carefully. We ended up on the inside aisle, not at the railing and I had a security camera in most of my shots. I loved seeing the city at night, but would have preferred a bit earlier so it wasn’t completely dark by the end, which compromised a lot of photos. I think 9pm would probably have been a better time to set out.