May 1st is a big holiday in France. All of the businesses, shops and musées are closed, as are many of the restaurants. This is the view from our breakfast table. Normally this street would be full of cars and pedestrians.
We decided to take a stroll along the left bank of the Seine. Joggers were out in force, as we’re families with kids on bikes and scooters.
One of the things I love about France is the abundance of art in public spaces. Art is almost a birthright here.
Love locks on the Pont des Arts. Even the bouquinistes sell the locks which can be personalized with magic markers. This has spread to railings of other bridges as well and has become controversial. There’s a movement to ban the locks entirely under the premise that they desecrate landmarks.
Soon afterward we came across a street protest (wouldn’t be May Day in Paris without a protest or two, apparently) flanked by cops in riot gear. We were shooed to quite a distance by one of these cops who indicated this crowd might get nasty, so we turned into Saint Germain where everyone seemed to be out in huge streets (not protesting) and every other person seemed to be selling…
Muguets! (Lily of the Valley) another May Day tradition. But I had an appointment, so we wandered toward the agreed-upon meeting place…
Where I was soon joined by Josephine of Chic At Any Age who had come over from London on the train! Because of the holiday we decided to enjoy a leisurely lunch and then stroll and take photos. While it had poured the entire time we were eating, the weather cooperated, and the sun came out just as we began our stroll.
Here’s Josephine, who I discovered has a wonderful eye for angles, composition and spotting what could be great images. We ambled through the Tuileries, looking for photo opportunities…
And we practiced our selfie skills. 😉
From Place de la Concorde we walked in the direction of the Opera Garnier, stopping along the way for some lèche-vitrines .
We spied an open pharmacie and couldn’t resist popping in to check out the skin care selections. One of the things I love most about France is the pharmacies, where the staff are knowledgeable about the products and very helpful.
After that we stopped by our hotel to fetch le Monsieur and go for a cup of tea before it was time for Josephine to catch the train back to London. I had such a marvelous time with her, and she’s just as charming, lovely and personable as you’d imagine from reading her blog.
Les magasins and boutiques are open again today, so we’re off to do some shopping. A new scarf or two may find its way into my basket… 😉