As I’ve written in previous posts, there is no concept of ‘Boxing Day’ in Paris. Around Paris it’s a normal, if quieter than usual day. The major department stores are open, and it is generally a good day to visit them – crowds are well down on the normal tourist crush, and the Christmas decorations are still up.
The interior decorations in Galeries Lafayette mirror their external decorations – white on white. This year there is a distinctive white tree made of paper, with gondolas or cable cars for the polar bears to ride in, and a white ferris wheel made of paper.
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Outside, it is a perfect winter’s day in Paris – crisp and clear blue sunny skies. A great day for a lot of walking along the Seine. L’Arsenal and the Jardin des Plantes are an easy walk from my apartment at Bastille, and the sunny weather shows both at their winter best.
There is usually a photography exhibition along the iron railings at Jardin des Plantes, and this winter it features the stunning photography of Vincent Munier – a decades worth of polar and brown bear photography. It is busier than usual in terms of people, which might reflect the polar bear theme prevalent in the Christmas decorations this year, or it might just be people out for a stroll in the sunny weather.
Several years ago, the roads closest to the left bank of the Seine were closed to traffic to create Les Berges. Mayor Anne Hidalgo has recently closed their equivalent on the Right Bank of the Seine, to create a cycle and pedestrian precinct that extends for several kilometres along the river bank. Hopefully the traffic tunnels will be demolished at some point to open up the pathway, in the meantime under one of the bridges a Velib stand for cycles has been installed.
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Access closer to the Seine from the Right Bank has opened up some new photographic vantage points of Ile-St-Louis and Ile de la Cite, as well as allow a group of white swans to take up residence. Surfing the wash created by passing river boats seems to be part of the deal.
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