First Impressions

First impressions are always so important. My first few moments in Paris set the stage for a week (well, 5 days ) of continual amazement. I kept exclaiming 'Everything is just so perfect, like a postcard!' and I meant it. I arrived from the airport at 8am to the local RER stop near our first hotel in St. Germain Des Pres, St Michel Notre Dame. I came up the subway station to be greeted by none other than Notre Dame, hence the name I guess -but it was so unexpected! I took the first picture of this post within seconds of my arrival! The other half of the RER stop name comes from St. Michel - the name of the boulevard it's located on. This amazing fountain is located right at the stop - Fountain St. Michel. Can I have asked for a more beautiful arrival point?
Just an amazing fountain! Love those pink marble columns.
I started off down the road along the Seine towards our hotel. This impressive building is on the Ile de La Cite (the official center of Paris, where Notre Dame lies), the Palais de Justice. Funny story from our trip - the Palais de Justice was incredibly huge and impressive and we passed it numerous times each day. Every time Heather would forget and ask 'whats that place?' (sorry Heather, it was too cute not to share!).I was surprised by the scale of the city right off -much smaller than anticipated: human scale. Such a comfortable city and easy to walk around. After living in DC for years, I've grown accustomed to LARGE rivers, but the Seine, at least in this location, is practically a scenic canal.While most of central Paris is very neoclassical, thanks to age and Haussmann, I fell in love with the juxtopositions of the scarce modern with the classical (not a surprise coming from me, right?). Many of these grand buildings along the Seine retain their classical shell but then surprise you with a very modern penthouse apartment on the top. Imagine the views!A classical door surround, again taken within moments of arriving, featuring caryatids. Notice how the building seems balanced but is not symmetrical! I didn't notice this at first!Lastly, I'll leave you with this beautiful old mansion nestled along the Seine. I have to say, St. Germain Des Pres was our favorite neighborhood in the city and you can see why!

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