“This is far & away the most beautiful town I’ve ever seen. I love the great open places (like Place de la Concorde) surrounded by fine buildings & monuments & flooded by light & air & sun. The long look through the archway near the Louvre up the Champs-Elysees to the Arc de Triomphe, the changing trees, red & brown & orange that grow down to the edge of the Seine, the distant glimpses of Montmartre swathed in mists–are all bits of loveliness one doesn’t expect to see in a Metropolis……
We walked back through the Luxembourg gardens among the sparrows & the statues & the falling leaves. It was cold & the sun rolled through the frosty air like a large orange. Sitting on a wooden bench munching two gaufres we had bought from the old man who toasts them in the open air we watched the children spinning their wooden tops with untiring energy, the fat nurses with white bonnets & brown eyes jigging tiny infants up & down, the seedy-coated artistes with slouch hats & hungry handsome faces strolling arm in arm along the leaf-strewn paths. We went as far as Notre Dame which shut at our arrival & back home where we spent two cosy hours before sallying forth to our evening meal.”
– Violet Bonham Carter, DIARY, 1904
(Lantern Slides, The Diaries and Letters of Violet Bonham Carter 1904-1914)
Leaving for Paris again in a month or so and dreaming about walking through this lovely park again…this picture is from my last trip in 2011.