The word “Paris” typically evokes images of wide boulevards lined with historic stone buildings. Shatter that stereotype by turning your gaze to the city’s business district, La Défense. There, you’ll find a lovely (and lively) sandbox for modern architecture and design. Here are a few images of the neighbourhood from my visit to the French capital in September 2012.
When Montreal was planning its métro system some half a century ago, it decided to go with Parisian-style trains fitted with tires in addition to steel wheels.
Consequently, experts from the RATP, the Parisian public transportation authority, acted as consultants throughout the planning and construction stages.
That cross-Atlantic connection is symbolized in one of the entrances to Square Victoria station, which has authentic Art Nouveau signage as you’d find in the French capital, a gift from the RATP first installed in 1967.
All the guide books said the grand château at Versailles was one of the world’s more ornate palaces. And by golly, they were right.
I’d go so far as to say no guidebook of any kind can prepare a first-time visitor for the full extent of this place’s grandiosity.
That, coupled with the crush of people inside the building’s hallways … it can almost be too much.
Go mentally prepared for what you’re about to take in and what the surroundings will be.
Give yourself pretty much an entire day so you can pace yourself.
If claustrophobic feelings strike, head outside and clear your mind in the sumptuous gardens behind the château. Wander far enough and you’ll even see farm animals on the property. It’s truly lovely.
These images were taken on my visit there in September 2012.