Today, I wanted to share a couple of images that show the majestic beauty of the places I have lived for the last few years. The first photo was taken at the UNESCO World Heritage site, Kinderdijk, near Dordrecht, Netherlands. We visited there this month on a freezing day, but I got some beautiful photos as the sun began popping through the dark clouds.
The second image is one I took at sunset one evening while wandering through the center of Paris. Sunsets in Paris are pretty remarkable, especially with the stunning silhouettes made by the architecture. I love how the sunset looks behind the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel and the lampposts.
Paris is full of beautiful attractions and museums and bustling restaurants to visit, but sometimes the best place to be is quietly sitting on a park bench. It’s my favorite place, anyway… Parc Monceau on the border of the 8th and 17th arrondissements holds a special place in my heart, as it was where I did my daily exercise a few years ago when I lived about 15 minutes away. It has some of the best people-watching in Paris, and is special in its design and neighborhood feel.
Perhaps you’ve heard lately that Paris is experiencing some record levels of pollution, or “un pic de pollution”. As a measure to get people to make use of public transportation instead of everyone taking his or her own car as many like to do, the government has offered several days of free transportation within Île de France. With my current little studio apartment in the 10th arrondissement, I have a lovely view of about half of the Eiffel Tower. You can imagine how odd it was a couple of days ago when I woke up in the morning and couldn’t see the Tower at all through all the smog. Without being overly dramatic about it, I must say there is a certain level of World War Z-fright from it at times. And yet, life in Paris seems to be continuing on… people are still driving (albeit circulation alternée), smokers are still lighting up, and the café seats are still full on all these sunny days.
This photo was taken last December from Place de la Concorde on a beautiful evening with an incredible sunset. I’m sure there was plenty of pollution in the air that day, but at least the burning sky hid the evidence.