My friend Meredith told me on Saturday she had read that the gardens at the Elysée Palace where the president lives would now be open the last Sunday of the month to the public. Jumping on this opportunity, I went with camera in hand to the palace last Sunday.
I naively thought that I was the only person to get the inside scoop on this tidbit of info and I would whisk in an out of there in a breeze. When I arrived there was a throng of people queuing up. I have an aversion to waiting on line but it looked like it was moving quickly, so I decided to wait. It was a clear, crisp, sunny autumn day and that made the waiting a little more bearable. It took about 30 minutes to get through because of the security.
Beyond the ornate black iron gates smothered in gold leaf were the gardens. Given the entrance gates were so grand, I thought the gardens would be equally as spectacular. It turns out the gardens were nothing to write home about and had nothing special or particularly interesting that stood out. Also, they weren’t all that photogenic but I managed to get some decent shots.
The gardens were not crowded but next to the clearing where the palace was, there was a mob of people taking photographs and pushing each other. I wanted to see what the fuss was about and when I got closer, I saw President Hollande was shaking hands and greeting people. Of course I had to get in on the action, and got within earshot of the president but could only get a photo of him from the nose up. A few moments later after he retreated into the palace, the president stood on the balcony and waved to all us minions.
Spotting the president was a nice Sunday surprise and made up for the ho-hum gardens.
The Elysée Palace Gardens are open the last Sunday of every month from 12PM to 5PM, from October to March, and 1PM to 7PM from April to September.
Don't you just love a man in uniform?
In addition to my Eye Prefer Paris Tours, we now offer Eye Prefer New York Tours, 3-hour walking tours of New York's best neighborhoods including Soho, Meatpacking/West Village & Tribeca. Tours cost $195 for up to 3 people and $65 for each additional person.Come take a bite of the Big Apple on an Eye Prefer New York Tour!
Come experience my blog ìliveî with my Eye Prefer Paris Tours, which are 3-hour walking tours I lead. The Eye Prefer Paris Tour includes many of the places I have written about such as small museums & galleries, restaurants, cafes & food markets, secret addresses, fashion & home boutiques, parks, and much more.Tours cost 195 euros for up to 3 people, and 65 euros for each additional person. I look forward to meeting you on my tours and it will be my pleasure and delight to show you my insiders Paris. www.eyepreferparistours.com
New! Eye Prefer Paris Cooking Classes
I am happy to announce the launch of Eye Prefer Paris Cooking Classes. Come take an ethnic culinary journey with me and chef and caterer Charlotte Puckette, co-author of the bestseller The Ethnic Paris Cookbook (with Olivia Kiang-Snaije). First we will shop at a Paris green-market for the freshest ingredients and then return to Charlotteís professional kitchen near the Eiffel Tower to cook a three-course lunch. After, we will indulge in the delicious feast we prepared along with hand-selected wines.
Cost: 185 euros per person (about $240)
Time: 9:30AM- 2PM (approximately 4 1/2 hours)
Location: We will meet by a metro station close to the market
Class days: Tuesday,Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday
Minimum of 2 students, maximum 6 students.
Click here to sign up for the next class or for more info.