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April in Paris 2019

Some 800 parasols are throwing serious shade over visitors at Le Village Royal in Paris. The Umbrella Sky project which started in Àgueda, Portugal in 2011 has been so popular that it has made the rounds in different parts of the world. The installation in Paris is temporary and will fold in July 2019. Le Village Royal is on 25 Rue Royale, a stone's throw from the Eglise de la Madeleine.

There’s no denying that La Tour Eiffel is one of the most visited landmarks in Paris. The internet is full of images of this iconic steel structure and recommendations for the best viewpoints. Once you’ve settled on where to snap that Instagram worthy image, the next step is to decide on how to portray the tower. There are innumerable angles to consider but definitely check the surroundings for the best way to frame the photo and capture the "mood" you wish to communicate.

Speaking of steel, the interior of the Eglise Notre Dame du Travail (Our Lady of the Laborers Church) is built of steel. It was constructed between 1899 to 1901 to replace Notre Dame de Plaisance which had become too small for the number of workers who came to Paris to work at the Universal Exposition of 1900 and had settled in Plaisance. The curved steel beams of the vaulted ceiling were taken from the Palais de l'Industrie which was built for the Universal Exposition of 1855 and demolished in 1899. In contrast, the façade of the church is made of sandstone and reveals nothing of its "steely" interior. 

Notre Dame du Travail is in the 14th Arrondisement at 59, Rue Vercingetorix. Metro stop: Pernety or short walk from Montparnasse train station.
This evocative sculpture found in Notre Dame du Travail is called La Main Créatrice by Michel Serraz. The creator's hand is holding Adam and Eve.
April was a very sad time in Paris and all of France and the world. Notre Dame de Paris burned for hours on April 15 and left the 850-year old church without a spire and a roof. 

The good news is that the rose windows and the façade with its two towers are intact. President Macron announced a five-year timeline to complete restoration of the Cathedral. Many wealthy French families and corporations pledged more than a billion euros to help repair the Cathedral. Notre Dame will rise again, more glorious than before. 

The square in front of the Cathedral is closed to the public for now. These photos were taken from across the Seine by the bouquinistes, book stall vendors.

Old magazines with Jackie Onassis on the cover and other used volumes are sold by this boquiniste. Thank goodness the rain stopped so I could browse the books stalls for its secondhand books, postcards, prints and souvenirs.  

I met some rain in late April but enjoyed sunny days at the beginning of my visit. Here´s a great view of Paris from the terrace of the Sacré Coeur Basilica.

This painting is called La Vision du Torrent by Paul Serusier. The Nabi exhibition also includes the works of Bonnard, Vuillard, Maurice Denis, Ranson, Aristide Maillol and Valloton.  According to Musée Luxembourg, ¨The decorative arts of the Nabis are a specific experience of total art, based on breaking down the boundaries of technique.¨ 

Les Nabis and the Decorative Arts Exhibition ends on June 30, 2019. Admission is 13 euros. The Musée Luxembourg is on 19, Rue Vaugirard. Metro stop: Saint Sulpice.

"Whoever does not visit Paris regularly, will never really be elegant." Honoré de Balzac

Where to stay:
Holiday Inn Paris Gare Montparnasse
79/81, Avenue du Maine (7-minute walk from Gare Montparnasse)
When I´m traveling by train in any country, I prefer to stay close to the train station for convenience. It saves me time to catch the next train and unburdens me from lugging my suitcase around. 
Metro: Gaité

Where to eat:
Le Doucet
41I, Rue de Vaugirard in the 6th Arrondisement
near Jardins Luxembourg 
I ordered the dorado with ratatouille. The fish was moist, tender and flavorful. 23 euros with beverage.

How to get to Paris from CDG or Orly:
My preferred airport transfer is Le Bus Direct. 18 euros from CDG to Gare Montparnasse or Gare de Lyon. From Montparnasse to the airport is 19 euros if you pay the driver directly. You save 1 euro by buying a ticket online or at the machine beside the bus stop in Montparnasse.

*It is important to be aware of the dates of the Gilets Jaune (Yellow Vests) demonstrations as these disrupt transportation services around Paris and other major cities in France. Check ratp.fr for metro schedule disruptions in Paris as a result of the demonstrations.

*****

Images by TravelswithCharie

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