on getting high in paris
One of the pleasures of visiting Paris is the opportunity to go high and look around. The favorite and maybe most often chosen option is the Eiffel Tower. Oddly enough, even though I spend a lot of time in Paris, I have not gone up.
Another option and easier to do than the Eiffel Tower is the observation deck at the top of the Montparnasse Tower. And, it is cheaper, too. The views are panoramic and gorgeous. As with the Eiffel Tower one should go on a clear day.
A third option, if manmade constructions are important, would be the Saint-Jacques Tower. It is a is a monument located in the 4th arrondissement of Paris. A reservation is required and some climbing of stairs.
Why not go to the top of the Musée d’Orsay, and from there through some of the windows one can look out over the roof tops toward Sacré-Cœur? The view is panoramic although limited in its scope. (Click on any photo to see it larger and in more detail. Cliquez sur une vignette pour l’agrandir.)
Setting aside the manmade constructions, Paris has plenty of other high points. La Basilique du Sacré-Cœur de Montmartre and the view from the terrace in front of it is spectacular. And, it is free. (Click on any photo to see it larger and in more detail. Cliquez sur une vignette pour l’agrandir.)
In addition to the terraces in front of the cathedral, one can walk around to the back and onto some of the streets in the surrounding neighborhood on Montmartre. From there, one can look between the buildings that descend down and out onto the horizon of Paris. (Click on any photo to see it larger and in more detail. Cliquez sur une vignette pour l’agrandir.)
My favorite places to get high in Paris are out of the way, and the French will go there but few tourists will take the time, because these hills are out of the way. I am thinking of the Buttes-Chaumont and Belleville and the hill of Ménilmontant. (Click on any photo to see it larger and in more detail. Cliquez sur une vignette pour l’agrandir.)
From these two vantage points, like the views from Sacré-Cœur, one can look out far and wide. Granted, unlike the Eiffel Tower, the top of the Montparnasse Tower, and the Saint-Jacques Tower, these views are not 360 degrees, but they are no less spectacular. Did I mention they are free? (Click on any photo to see it larger and in more detail. Cliquez sur une vignette pour l’agrandir.)
We met at the Milton Conference at Duquesne in the summer of 1990. I was teaching seniors at a small high school in Georgia, and I recall that you were doing the same at a small high school in Oregon. Just now while looking at a Facebook post from several years ago, a student from that time mentioned the exchange of letters between your students and mine. I had forgotten that exercise, but it did make me think of you. I hope you are prospering. I have been retired from the classroom now for over ten years and spend most of my time “grandfathering” (from a distance unfortunately due to this damnable pandemic) and playing golf.
Of course I remember you and our experiences in Pittsburgh. I am thrilled to hear from you. (I don’t remember setting up with you the exchange of letters, but it does not surprise me that we did it.) I was sitting in a small restaurant on a small street in an out-of-the-way part of Marseille, I had just finished ordering lunch, and decided to see what was happening in the world and checked my email, and there you were. I exclaimed something, because someone nearby looked in my direction. That conference was a long time ago. Yes, I was at Nestucca HS on the Oregon coast. Eventually, I moved to a larger school district outside Portland–the West Linn-Wilsonville School District–where I stayed until I stopped teaching in 2007. Since then I have been spending half my time in Portland and the other half in France. I will be in Marseille until November 1, when I return to Portland. I am returning to France and Anitbes for some winter months, Feb-April in 2022. I am thrilled you wrote. Take care.