Walking Tour of Ile de la Cite

As Ellen B. has already mentioned in her blog, I went on a walking tour with her and Kyle along the Ile de la Cite. We began our “adventure” by people watching while having a nice lunch at the Café du Pont-Neuf (because it of course decided to start down pouring when we got out of the metro station). Once Kyle met up with us, we started by walking on Quai du Louvre headed towards the start of our walking tour.

Beginning on Pont Neuf, we stood on the bridge and admired the surroundings and discovered that we could see all sorts of places from this bridge over the Seine. We found the Statue at Pont Neuf and then talked about Henry III and Henry the IV and the history behind this area. It was really cool to be standing on the oldest of the Paris bridges! We turned down Rue Henri-Robert Place Daupine and walked through a square where there were lots of tents set up in the middle (I’m assuming some kind of mini market). So that I don’t repeat the detailed info that Ellen B. already mentioned…I’ll be a little more broad and focus on the buildings that we saw in relation to the court and judicial centers that she talked about in her wonderful blog! The first major building that we came upon was the Palais de Justice. It was an enormous and overwhelming standalone building for the part of the city that we had just walked through.

While walking along the Seine, we discussed the history behind the Judicial Palace and law courts that we read about in the Michelin Paris Guide book. It is really different not only here specifically, but in Paris in general, the way that the police system works. For instance, they ride around in vans and buses carrying machine guns and reading books at the same time (an observation from today). We also passed what we assume is more of a “prison/correctional” type facility. We of course made sure we got a picture of Kyle in front of his future residence if he doesn’t get that last taxi home : P . When we turned onto the Boulevard du Palais, we found ousrleves in front of a gorgeous building…which was the back of the Judicial center. There were tons of people attending the hearings and guards everywhere. According to our guide, the public is allowed to attend the criminal or civil hearings that are held here. Although we were shocked because we thought some major case must be going on with the amount of security that was around, but apparently it is like this everyday. I then noticed how culturally I think of more security and armed forces to be around major events and popular people; opposed to normal everyday hearings and cases. We finished our tour by walking to Pont St-Louis and turning back around to Notre Dame. Hopefully we will be able to go to Ile Saint Louis because I have heard it is just as great!

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