Saturday, March 24, 2012

A long sunny tour with Colin

Colin - Place de l'Alma
8:00 AM - With Colin, we had decided to run a long tour along the Seine. A beautiful morning, the sun was with us. Colin comes from Australia but works in India. Long distances enthusiast, Colin intends to run his first marathon in Bombay, a rather difficult marathon because of the heat and of the humidity

We thus left by following the Seine on the left bank, by greeting for the first time the Eiffel Tower. We then crossed the river by the "Ile de La Cité", admired Notre-Dame and joined the right bank to make a small break in the Louvre.

Colin - Rue de l'Université, Notre Dame, Le Louvre

Having crossed the garden of the Tuileries, arrived in front of the Obelisk of the place de la Concorde, we evoked the time of the Pharaoh Ramses II. With such a light, we owed have small breaks to photograph the Eiffel Tower, and it is by the bridge of Bir-Hakeim that we returned on the left bank.

Colin - Obelisk of "la Concorde", Trocadéro, Bridge of Bir-Hakeim

But, what is this flame place of the Alma, which we can see on the photo at the top of the article?

The plate indicates: " The Flame of Liberty. An exact replica of the Statue of Liberty's flame offered to the people of France by donors throughout the world as a symbol of the Franco-American friendship. On the occasion of the centennial of the International Herald Tribune. Paris 1887-1987. "

In 1989, the United States offered this flame to France, to thank the French companies which realized the restoration of the Statue of Liberty on the occasion of its centenary. As its replica, the Flame in New York, lit at the origin from the inside, is now gilded and lit from the outside.

Numerous visitors think that this flame was built in homage to Lady Diana, died during her accident in the tunnel of the Alma, situated under the monument.
The flame can effectively remind the song of Elton John written in homage to the princess: "Candle in the wind".
Even if Lady Diana is officially commemorated in a small garden in "Le Marais", we can often see around the Flame of the Freedom, numerous bouquets, photos or messages.

The tunnel of the Alma is also the passage of the Paris Marathon (soon, April 15th!). In this place, the race gets closer to the 29th km (18 miles)! Good race to all the runners who will run the Marathon of Paris!

Merci Colin !

The route of the tour:

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Reminiscences of the French Revolution with Cara

Cara - Bridge of "la Concorde"
10h01 - Cara comes from California (USA) where she has already run half marathons. Having seen recently the marathon of Rome, city where she lives, Cara now wishes to make a full marathon. The marathon of Rome? The marathon of Paris? Both? 

While running, we evoked the French Revolution. 
We crossed by important places of the Revolution such as Place de la Concorde, which saw the guillotine work very numerous times, and the bridge of the same name:
"So that the patriots may walk every day on the fragments of the execrable fortress!"the bridge of La Concorde was built by using stones of the Bastille. The prison of the Bastille, destroyed on July 14th, 1789, was effectively one of the symbols of the Monarchy.

Cara - Quai Voltaire

The ideas of the "Enlightenment" fed the Revolution. The philosopher Voltaire contributed to it widely. We crossed the building where he lived and died. He is situated Quai Voltaire, name given to the quay in 1791 in homage to the great man.

A little later, by pursuing our running, we stopped a small moment in front of the Café Procope, the oldest literary Café of the world, created in 1686.

Cara - Café Procope
In the 18th century, the Café participated in the birth of the "Enlightenment" ideas. Voltaire, Diderot, d'Alembert and Benjamin Franklin, in particular, frequented regularly the Café Procope. Benjamin Franklin would have partially prepared there the constitution of the United States. During the Revolution, Danton, Marat and Robespierre often met there. The young Napoleon Bonaparte even left one of his famous hats.

The Supper of the Philosophers - Voltaire, d'Alembert, Condorcet, Diderot, La Harpe, le père Adam and the abbot Maury  
Café Procope XVIIIth century

Nowadays, we can still see the Voltaire's table as well as one cocked hat of lieutenant Bonaparte.

Merci Cara !

The route of the tour:
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