It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…

Paris, France. Today was a gorgeous sunny day – hot, yes – but perfect for sightseeing and other tourist activities.

Our main focus was the saddest thing you can see now in Paris – Notre Dame after the devastating fire of April 16.

But first, happier views. We took a bus toward the Île Saint-Louis, where we had a wonderful salad at a charming brasserie, having first enjoyed so many lovely views of familiar sites and Parisian moments. Even the trash bins are delightful to these eyes. Scooters are still all the rage here, but they seem to have been electrified and built for two since our last visit.

And then there was the sad part of our day – views of poor Notre Dame- minus its lovely spire.

Mona Lisa and the normally packed but now almost empty tourist shops and cafes next to the cathedral tell the rest of the story.

We consoled ourselves with a stop at Berthillon for some of its famous ice cream. It is just down the street from the hotel I stayed the weekend of Princess Diana’s funeral, another never-to-be-forgotten Paris moment.

So many new but so many familiar places in this city. Everything about it is special.


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