Paris walks, the Alley of Swans (allee des cygnes).

When we, as tourists, visit Paris we believe that we begin to know the city. We don’t.

The more often I travel there, the more that I see and learn is what makes me realize how little that I really know about it.  The city humbles you every time and that excites me all the more.  Every time Paris surprises me I am rewarded.

The best way to learn Paris is to walk it.  So, I have created this group of Paris walk photologues, a way to encourage visitors to the city to walk and to share some of my photographs.  Today’s walk is the Alley of Swans or Allee des Cygnes, located between the Pont de Bir Hakeim and Pont De Grenelle, just 10 minutes from our apartment.

Did you know that there is a small island in the middle of the Seine, walking distance from the Eiffel Tower?  There is, and it is one of the prettiest walks that I have ever taken in Paris, especially in November when the leaves are turning color and the light on the river is a bit thin, the afternoon shadows long.

This is a perfect place to take a moment off from the constant touring and pressure that we place on ourselves to see more do more.  It is a place to bring a book and just watch the river go by.

While the walk is only ten minutes away from the pressing crowds of the Eiffel Tower/Trocadero, you step into a world of quiet.

And in strange twist, as you approach the end of the island, there is a scaled replica of the Statue of Liberty.  Go figure.

This is a serene place, full of children, dogs and couples.

But one word of warning.

Watch for the dog shit, it is everywhere.

Looking back at the ET

After reaching the statue you turn around and the view is just exceptional. As you return to the rest of your day take a moment and look back on a part of Paris that doesn’t make the books.  One of the many amazing walks you can take on a Paris day.

To reach the Allee Des Cygnes from the Yellow Flat go to Blvd. Grenelle turn right. Follow it to the Seine and when you reach the Bir Hakeim bridge, be sure to start out on the left side (facing the 16e).

Here is a link to google maps to help you to find the alley of swans:  http://maps.google.com/maps/mpl?ie=UTF8&moduleurl=http://maps.google.com/help/maps/local_search/mapplet.html&mapclient=google&f=q&hl=en&ie=UTF8&ll=37.76108,-122.435589&spn=0.111961,0.175095&z=12&utm_campaign=en&utm_medium=ha&utm_source=en-ha-na-us-gns-ls&utm_term=google%20maps

Leaves in the alley, November 2009


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