We got back from Paris this morning after spending a night in Chicago due to a 4-hour departure delay in Paris, our second “maintenance issue” and overnight-layover in a row. At least it wasn’t as bad as the total nightmare of the last return flight. If possible I never plan to fly out of Paris again. Let’s face it, the French are much better at pastries than airplane mechanics and they certainly don’t get in a hurry for anything. I’ve flown into Paris several times and have never had a problem with that, but I’ll be passing through and flying back home from somewhere else the next time, whenever that may be.
We had a very good week though. My game plan of traveling around light and agile with small, non-zoom lenses (a 35mm and a 50mm) lasted about half a day. I just couldn’t handle the fear of mentally setting up a shot but not being able to execute, so I hauled my mid-range zoom and heavy 70-200mm 2.8 around all day long. My prayers were answered and my hip and back problems totally disappeared for the whole week — until we landed in Chicago last night. So I either need to pray for an extension or leave the country more often.
We rented an apartment in Paris this time which worked out quite well. Our room was at the top of a 5-story building built in the 1600s. No elevator, just a spiral staircase. I’ve stayed in several very small European hotels in old buildings, plenty with no elevators, but this one was one of the steepest and tightest staircases I’ve ever seen. The closest thing I’ve ever seen was the stairs to the top of Notre Dame which start out wide and get narrower and narrower the taller you climb, except these were all wood instead of stone.
The apartment’s location was great though. We were a block-and-a-half from the Louvre, so I walked over at sunrise one morning and photographed the Louvre and Tulleries gardens. Our window had a view of Sacre Coeur from which I setup my tripod one evening and photographed from dusk through dark.
I’ll try to share more details and photos soon, but for now I’ll leave you with just a snapshot I took while walking along the street in front of our apartment. This is actually a perfectly “normal” parking scene in Paris: