France: Day 6, Paris

It’s been rain­ing almost non-stop across France ever since I got here, so when I woke up to a sun­ny day, I had to take the chance and head out to Paris. I decid­ed to see how far I could get on foot from Gare Montparnasse, my goal being a cross­ing of the Seine.

Paris is divid­ed into arrondiss­ments or dis­tricts, spi­ral­ing out­ward from the Louvre like a snail shell, with each one hav­ing a char­ac­ter­is­tic feel. I began my walk in the 14th arrondiss­ment, and trav­eled north.

After about four kilo­me­tres, the stiff­ness in my legs told me I should head back. But Paris is dense and full of cul­ture and his­to­ry at every turn; on every block over there’s some­thing that catch­es the eye, and you nev­er want to turn around.

Fountain of Saint Michel

Fontaine Saint-Michel, locat­ed in the 5th arrondiss­ment.

embrace in the garden

I love how the girl has her leg draped over his. Where else in the world would one expect such pub­lic dis­plays of affec­tion?



stores in Gare Montparnasse

Stores at the top of Gare Montparnasse.

shoes on tree grate


walking the streets


hanging emblem

RF, for République française.

Paris buildings 1


crossing the street




palais de justice

Palais de Justice.

Paris buildings 2


Hotel Sorbonne

Hotel Sorbonne.

postcard stand


waiting to cross


reading and walking


Paris streets 1


Paris streets 2

I find these roads very con­fus­ing, as street names are marked on build­ings instead of signs, and branch out in sev­er­al strange direc­tions. The roads are fre­quent­ly far from being eas­i­ly nav­i­ga­ble cross­es.

La Tour Montparnasse

La Tour Montparnasse, right next to Gare Montparnasse, is a tow­er that dwarfs every oth­er build­ing (as it’s the tallest build­ing in France) in the 14th arrondiss­ment. I thought I’d be okay with find­ing my way back as long as I could see the tow­er, and I could just walk towards it to get back to the train sta­tion. The prob­lem is that the streets are so nar­row, even build­ings that are only two sto­ries tall can block the view.

pointing at poster


The Jardin du Luxembourg

This gar­den is the largest pub­lic park in France, and actu­al­ly the gar­den of the French sen­ate. It’s a mas­sive area with a pletho­ra of land­marks and sev­er­al sec­tions, many of them large expans­es of grass for peo­ple to relax and social­ize.

gates of the Jardin du Luxembourg

The south­ern gates of the gar­den.

talking on the benches 2


fountain of the observatory

Fontaine de l’Observatoire, one of the south­ern­most points of the gar­den.

table tennis table

There are even sev­er­al pub­lic table ten­nis tables, though they’re made out of con­crete, with met­al nets.

deer sculpture


garden path


talking on the benches 1


garden basin

This basin is right in front of the Senate, and has sev­er­al dozen chairs out for peo­ple to sit and relax.

boat vendor

There’s also a foun­tain and pond in the cen­tre, with a boat ven­dor who rents out small sail­boats for chil­dren to play with in the foun­tain.

Medici Fountain

Medici Fountain. I have no doubt this looks nicer in the fall than at any oth­er time of year.

lion sculpture


Greek actor statue


senate side

Luxembourg Palace, in the north part of the gar­den, which hous­es the French Senate.

senate detail


The Seine

birds over the Seine River


Quai Saint Michel


boat on the Seine river


rue de la Cité


Seine River 1


Seine River 2



These mag­a­zine stands were set up along the side of the Seine, each green box being per­ma­nent­ly affixed to the wall. I won­der if ven­dors have to apply for per­mits, as there’s only a lim­it­ed num­ber of each.

Seine River 3


Seine River 4


The Latin Quarter

The Latin Quarter is sup­posed to be a favourite of Paris’s stu­dents and intel­lec­tu­als, being home to a num­ber of build­ings for high­er edu­ca­tion.

Michel de Montaigne

A stat­ue of Michel de Montaigne, locat­ed in the mid­dle of a very unas­sum­ing street. The bright pol­ish of his right foot comes from stu­dents touch­ing it for good luck before an exam.

Église Saint-Séverin

Église Saint-Séverin

Hotel de Ville front

Hôtel de Ville, the city hall of Paris.

Hotel de Ville detail


Hotel de Ville statues


Hotel de Ville


Notre Dame de Paris, front

Notre Dame de Paris.

Notre Dame de Paris, statues


Europe 2010 travel diaries


  1. This is so neat to fol­low your pic­tures and know exact­ly where you are in my head since I was just there.… Even more amaz­ing to think how many oth­ers in his­to­ry were only just there before us a few years ago, a cen­tu­ry ago, a cou­ple cen­turies ago.
    That pic­ture of the Medici Fountain is stun­ning — I don’t think I ever made it there. Must hit it next time around.

    You must have been exhaust­ed. This is a huge dis­tance you cov­ered.

    Did you go into St. Severin?

    • I hap­pened to pass by the church of Saint-Séverin (pic­tured above), but did­n’t go in. I’m not much for reli­gious structures…and I was sav­ing my awe for when I went to the cathe­dral in Chartres. :)

  2. hi, the pho­tos are very nice, hope to meet you some day in Iran. if you want to come in Iran, just inform me, I can help you alot.
    all the best

  3. Paris is a great city to walk around; that much is cer­tain.

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