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Yesterday in Paris it was la grève. The whole city (and country) was paralyzed due to strikes and work stoppages by all the French unions (incl. high school student unions :nuts:) to protest against the reform of the French pension system. There was hardly a métro running, so I decided to skip the day. I retrieved my bicycle from the dusty basement and took advantage of the Californian spring-like weather, rather unusual in October, to go on a tour away from civilization and all the social protests. I took my camera with me in case I saw interesting things to photograph.

Here are some of the pictures I took. First part of my tour. I'll post the rest of the tour later. What started as a gentle afternoon promenade ended up as a 5 hour bike ride till the night through the urban giant that is Greater Paris! :D

After a parmesan and parma ham salad with balsamic vinagar eaten by the lakeside at the Bois de Boulogne, let's follow the path out of chaotic Central Paris and its social travails. Full sunshine, not a cloud in sight. Dry air. Outside temperature: 19 degrees Celsius. This is how the weather should ALWAYS be.



"Yes to organic food in my canteen!" WWF


We're gonna climb all the way up there (Mont Valérien hill). Yes baby! I hope you have good calves...


It's Spring! Spring in Paris! God has transported Paris in the Southern Hermisphere without telling us. :D
(picture taken on October 12, 2010 around 3pm)




Tous à la manif ! A Parisian demonstrating against the reform of the pension system. :lol:


Uh-oh, I think I saw a tower.


Uh-oh... (+ another Parisian busy demonstrating against the government)


Yay! La Défense. :cool:






The neighbors across the river seem unimpressed by all these glassy skyscrapers.


We're entering the... (gasp) "banlieue". [unnerving Hitchcock music here]


So I guess they have cultural life in the "banlieue" too after all...






And now for the big climb to the top of Mont Valérien hill and its American Military Cemetery.


4 cereal bars and 2 liters of sweat later, we reach the top of Mont Valérien. [private joke for the Skybarsters] (yes, this is Latin France, so I'm exaggerating things) [/private joke]


Arlington-sur-Seine. :cool:




Paris: 12 million inhabitants. My camera is not very good, but basically, there was a sea of urbanization as far as the eye can see. :cheers:


Le repos du guerrier, à l'ombre des gratte-ciels...


Other heros are honored on the other side of the Mont Valérien hill. This is the national shrine of the French Résistance. It commemorates the French resistants executed by the Germans during WW2. The buildings above served as the headquarters of the Groß-Paris (Greater Paris) German military occupation forces. 863 resistants were shot here between 1940 and 1944.


"Whatever happens, the flame of the resistance shall not be extinguished" - Appeal of June 18, 1940.


Oh my God!! Greater Paris is sooooo multicultural!!! You know, 400 different languages spoken, yadee yadee yada. (memo: thou shalt not pronounce the L word, though shalt not...)


An unusual mural for the end of our first part.


More photos to come later. With some suprises. ;)
 

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Second part of my tour through Greater Paris on a sunny day of grève.

By the time of the mural (see above), the sun was starting to decline on the horizon, but the outside temperature was still lovely. I was whistling "Summertime", don't know why. :D

Then I suddenly stopped in the middle of the traffic to take this picture. If you only stay inside the City of Paris, you can never really see the true diversity of architecture in Paris, because the City of Paris is so uniformally Haussmannian for the most part. It is only if you venture outside of the 20 arrondissements, particularly in the wealthy western communities along the Seine river and Bois de Boulogne, that you can find jewels like this one.


The light was not very good, but the balustrade on top of this 19th century house is basically covered with glazed green ceramic. In the Toulouse region there are also some Greek inspired 19th century houses like this one, except they use pink bricks in between the friezes.

Close-up view of the friezes, which are clearly inspired from the Parthenon in Athens.


So many interesting houses in those wealthy communities.


The train line to La Défense. The population density on both sides of this train line is almost as high as in Brooklyn, NYC. No gangs and no thugs around though. Only preppies and young execs.


People waiting for the train to La Défense (normally it's in the morning that most people take the train to go to work in La Défense, but as you can see, even in the late afternoon people travel to La Défense).


Traffic jam with a view over the megacity (Montparnasse Tower to the left, 7.5 km/4.7 mi from where I took this picture).


"Chapel of the hospice (almshouse) founded the year 1787 by H.M. Queen Marie Antoinette"


The parish church of Saint-Cloud. Saint-Cloud was almost entirely destroyed by the Prussians in 1870. It has thankfully been beautifully rebuilt since then.


An old street in Saint-Cloud. (dunno if it was rebuilt after the Prussian devastation of the area, or if it survived the Franco-Prussian War)
Question: why are colors on buildings forbidden in the City of Paris, and only to be found outside of the Périphérique? Why??? Bring the colors to Central Paris!




So French.


So Russian. :D


The recently completed Mozart Tower, 3.9 km/2.4 mi from where I took this picture. Too bad I don't have a good camera.


The roofs of Saint-Cloud are well worth those of Central Paris.
(but how the heck did Brisavoine get up there?? :D)


End of the second part. More surprises to come in the third part of Brisavoine en grève. ;)
 

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Get back to work, commie! :D

Looks like a great day for a bike ride around Paris! We had similar weather at the weekend but its back to grey now :(

You can mention the L-word, Paris and Luton are both great and multicultural cities in their own right.
 

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C'est gentil.
 

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If you're camera is not very good as you've put it, then you really are talented for taking photos :):cheers:
 

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That seems a great way to spend a strike day...guess I´ll do the same here in about a month :lol:

Thanks for the pictures (and captions...which I really like to read in these threads). And about the weather...Yeah? What the hell is wrong? lol Here it´s the same! As much as I love cold rainy days this 20ºC sunny ones are looking fantastic :)
 
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