Paris, COP21 and Christmas

Delacroix's La Liberte guidant le peuple

Delacroix’s La Liberte guidant le peuple

If you can survive the Occupation than a few terrorists will only piss you off, the loss of life and the tragedies that occurred on 13 November are not taken lightly nor will they be forgotten soon but the French are resilient. They have and will continue to press the agenda against terrorism but they will also get back to their process of living.

We arrived to vacation in Paris along with the 45,000 who came for COP21, passport control was an interesting hour and a half of standing and shuffling along. But everyone understood the additional security and in general, except for those who were missing tight connections, were in good humor. We arrived via Boulevard Malesherbes to the trendy little studio we rented on rue Royale. Metal barriers lined both Malesherbes and Royale but we failed to understand the significance as Malesherbes was the major route for dignitaries heading to COP21 at Bouget the next day. We were up fairly early that Monday morning and found that to cross rue Royale we would need to walk over a mile!

From the Eglise Saint Augustin looking towards Place de la Madeleine, about 3000 feet

From the Eglise Saint Augustin looking towards Place de la Madeleine, about 3000 feet

We saw a few people going to work that hadn’t realized their normal route was blocked. Rerouted bus lines , closed underground parking areas and an abandoned roadway from Saint Augustin to Place de la Concorde except for the occasion blaring of sirens and cavalcade of black SUVs.

There was also a significantly noticeable increase in security in most stores, all of the upscale stores, and on the streets. There were strategically located police staging areas throughout the city:

Police Staging Area

Police Staging Area beside Opera Garnier

On any of the major streets you would find multiple security forces in groups of 3 or 4:

Army on the Champs Elysees

Army on the Champs Elysees

The Parisians and their guests have taken to the streets to protest the attacks and heal their wounds:

Crowds at Christmas market along the Champs Elysees

Crowds at Christmas market along the Champs Elysees

The City of Lights has never shined brighter:

Christmas market along the Champs Elysees at night

Christmas market along the Champs Elysees at night

rue Montorguel packed with revelers

rue Montorguel packed with revelers

Printemps celebrates 150 years

Printemps celebrates 150 years

 

 

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