Normal is something we all haven’t experienced in more than 18months. On this visit to Paris, from late October 2020 onwards has been like no other time I doubt and hope to never see again. Non essential shops closed, cafe/restaurants export/takeaway only for many months. No museums, no theatre, no cinema and no live cultural experiences. Curfews from 9pm to 6am, restrictions on how far you can venture from home, firstly 1km then extended to 10km. No exit from Paris allowed. Empty streets that are usually buzzing with cars, buses and people.
As lockdown was eased in mid May 2021 and life returned to some form of normal with museums and other cultural venues slowly being again to allow public access albeit at first via pre-bookings. We had the privilege of visiting venues that are normally a mecca for Parisians and visitors alike with extremely small numbers of visitors.
For those of you that have visited the Louvre, this scene above is unimaginable. The other areas of the Louvre that we visited were exactly the same.
Looking towards the Louvre from the top of the Tuileries Jardin
Trying to get a seat in this park, in the Marais, to just sit and take in the surrounds can be challenging, however, not the case on this day in January. Its usually full of locals reading and chatting.
Place des Vosges below is another area that in normal times is bustling.
Chateau de Versailles is one the most visited sites in France. To be able to visit with only a few others after hours was a privilege. That is a story in itself, if you are interested in the experience visit this website.
Another case in point is The Musée de l’Orangerie an art gallery of impressionist and post-impressionist paintings located in the west corner of the Tuileries Gardens next to the Place de la Concorde in Paris. Famous for housing Monet’s Water Lilies. This image was taken just after reopening in mid June.
An early morning self guided tour of Opera Garnier with fellow senior DS contributor Philippe.
I know Paris was not unlike any other major world city during this pandemic. The lack of the usual hustle and bustle that we’re come to expect and love/hate was missing. It has been a truely unique and unexpected experience to be in Paris during this period. I felt the need to document this as part of history.
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