Paris 2021

In the summer of 2021, I spent a weekend in Paris. My main objective was to watch the last stage of the Tour de France, but of course I also walked around the city. I walked more than forty thousand steps and nearly eighteen miles on Saturday alone!

Ah, where do I begin with Paris? I guess it’s natural to start with the food, which was quite good. Fun story: at one restaurant, when I told the waiter that I don’t speak French, he asked me if I spoke Chinese! I answered “yes,” and for the rest of the evening we communicated in Chinese.

Dinner on table Dessert on table Lunch on table
Some of the meals that I had in Paris. I also got lots of tasty pastries from random shops. (Click on any image to view at full resolution.)

After I arrived on Friday night, I took an evening stroll along the River Seine and ended up at the Louvre.

River at night in city Bridge across river at night Glass pyramid
Some pictures taken during my first nighttime stroll. (Click on any image to view at full resolution.)

On Saturday, I toured around most of the city. I didn’t go to the Arc de Triomphe because I had already been there on my previous trip to Paris, but I did go to the Notre Dame cathedral. Unfortunately, it was still under renovation after the 2019 fire.

Notre Dame from front Notre Dame from side
Notre-Dame de Paris was under renovation. (Click on any image to view at full resolution.)

Of course, I went to the Louvre. Some items of interest there:

I then went to another notable Paris location: Shakespeare and Company, the famous English-language bookstore. I’d highly recommend paying a visit if you’re ever in town; it’s a wonderful place.

I then walked around the city some more. I went up to a rooftop viewing deck, but it was honestly not very worth the money. I think it would have been a better experience if I had gone at night, when the Eiffel tower lights up.

At this point, the sun began to set. I walked around some more. (Noticing a theme here?) I went to the Basilique du Sacré-Cœur (Basilica of the Sacred Heart) intending to go to the observation deck, but I failed to do my homework: the deck was closed by the time I got there. Still, I had a nice time, and while I was walking I encountered a live performance of Shakespeare! I think it was Romeo and Juliet, judging from the signage. I imagine that stumbling across an open-air performance of Romeo and Juliet while taking an stroll around Paris on a warm summer evening would sound very romantic…if I, you know, had someone to share it with.

Narrow building Stone basilica Actors in outdoor amphitheater
Some pictures taken during my second nighttime stroll. (Click on any image to view at full resolution.)

On Sunday, I attended service at the American Church in Paris. This being Paris, I had to take the obligatory picture of the Eiffel tower. I then spent the rest of the day watching the Tour de France on the Champs-Élysées, which was an adventure in itself.

Eiffel tower
All right, here’s your obligatory picture of the Eiffel Tower… (Click on any image to view at full resolution.)

One nerdy thing I wanted to do but didn’t get a chance to do: see the International Prototype Kilogram, which is apparently held in a vault somewhere in the suburbs of Paris.