Paris: Saturday Night Lights

Weekend nights are pretty lively in this city. Even before the sun has set, the party spirit is gearing up. The banks of the Seine are lined with thousands of young people assembled in small groups sharing food and various liquid refreshments and generally having a great time. The expansive lawns of the Champs des Mars and Esplanade des Invalides are similarly packed, but populated mostly by families and Frisbee tosseurs (not a real word). The streets are filled with tourists, stopping every 20 meters or so to photograph the city’s icons and the now obligatory “selfies.” And this photographer heads to the Pont Alexandre III, considered the most elegant bridge in Paris.


Waxing Moon, Pont Alexandre III, Paris

This was photographed from the Right Bank at the entrance to Pont Alexandre.  The entrances on both sides are flanked by a pair of pillars such as the one shown here, each with a sculpture of Pegasus, the mythological flying horse.  It was shot at about 10:40 PM.


Pont Alexandre III and Les Invalides at Night

This was also photographed from the Right Bank, about 25 feet to the left of the previous image.   In the bottom left, you can see the groups of young people celebrating the evening.  In the distance, the illuminated dome of Les Invalides sits astride the massive Esplanade des Invalides.  The two pillars on the left bank flank the entrance on the opposite side. Photographed at about 10:50 PM.


Eiffel Tower, from Pont Alexandre III

And, of course, the obligatory image of the Eiffel Tower.  Photographed at about 10:25 PM.  As you can see, I am steadily working my way downriver.

My travels about this city have been facilitated by the incredibly useful (and free) app by the Paris Metro system.  It knows where I am and I just tell it where I want to go.  It directs me to the right bus stop and tells me which bus to take and where to get off.  So I knew when I was taking that last shot at 10:50 PM that I could get across the bridge to the bus stop on the other side and catch the 11:00 PM 63 bus that would drop me off abut a block from our home base.  If you are coming here and don’t already have it, you must get a copy.  Just go to the App store and ask for the RATP app.

14 thoughts on “Paris: Saturday Night Lights

  1. Hey Robin, Great posting. Cannot wait to hear and see more from both you and Laurie. Rick and I just got back from Joe´s workshop. Weather and sky, not hugely cooperative, but we had a great time. With the long days, it was meet at 4am to shoot the sunrise and to bed around 11 after shooting the sunset. Anyway, we want to go back on our own in October for the fall colors. we have some great shooting locations at Dolly Sods, Lindy Peak, Elekala, Douglas Falls, and Spruce Nob Lake and we found a great place for amazing breakfasts. The new route 48 gets us there in just under 3 hours, no traffic….short delay today saving a snapping turtle in the middle of the highway, but that is another story. So, would you be interested in joining us in Oct for a weekend trip? Hi to Laurie, M PS, I am buying the 8000.

    Sent from my iPad



    • Thanks, Michele. October is possible, depending which weekend. I have the Open Studio Tour event on the weekend of the 17th. I’ll get in touch offline. Twilight approaches here momentarily and time to get moving.


  2. Thank you for sharing your beautiful photo from my favourite city. next time you’re there please capture the bustling Marais and L’lle Saint-Louis. Plenty of neighbourhood inspiration and cafe society to be shot.


    • Hi, Lynn:
      Thanks very much for your comments and also your suggestions. I have a few from L’lle Saint-Louis from previous visits and a few more this time, but not so with the Marais. We do plan to go again, and it will be high on my list. If you have some specific spots, let me know when you get a chance. I’m always looking for good ideas from people who know the areas I visit.


  3. Fantastic! And thanks for providing all the great details – makes viewing your wonderful photos all the more fun (for instance, I would have missed that throng of revelers on the river had you not pointed them out 🙂 ). Glad to read you plan on returning to Paris at some point!


  4. Thanks, Stacy. I’m glad the background information is of interest. I try to provide a little context to give a flavor of what I was experienced while I was shooting. I spent a lot of time along the Seine in the evening hours while we were there and was amazed at how the warm weather brings out the party mood with the Parisians. Our flat overlooked one such section and the banks were pretty well littered with bottles and trash at sunrise. But the very efficient municipal maintenance crews are well prepared and everything was cleaned up by the time rush hour started.


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