May 22, 2009

Paris: Marché aux Fleurs and Cathédrale Notre-Dame

Île de la Cité is an island in the River Seine in the middle of Paris. There is a Marché aux Fleurs (flower market) six days a week - Monday through Saturday. On Sunday, there is a pet bird market in the same location.

Our rental apartment was just a few blocks away from the flower market, so we often strolled past it as we went about the city. The flower market was overflowing with potted arrangements, cut flowers, shrubs, annuals, perennials and even large trees! Some of the vendors specialize. For all the others, it was difficult to determine where one stall ended and another began with the street, stalls and sidewalks so full of flowers. With the US customs restrictions as they are, I brought home photographs of the flowers and no flowers.

Cathédrale Notre-Dame is also located on Île de la Cité, so we often passed by the this famous sight as well.

On several evenings, we went up to Notre-Dame so that I could capture the light from the sunset as it turned the cathedral stone to a golden color. Using the 20x zoom lens on my Canon SX10 IS camera (no tripod), I made many attempts to photograph the gargoyles up on the roof and buttresses.

I couldn't zoom straight up the cathedral walls, so I had to move back a distance from Notre-Dame. I lowered the resolution on my camera in order to extend the capabilities of the zoom. On the Canon, the setting that I used was M3 to lower the resolution down to 2M (1600 x 1200) from 10M (3648 x 2736). Since I intend to use the cathedral zoom photos for web viewing, rather than printing enlargements, this lower resolution works fine.

We had both been to Notre-Dame on a previous trip, but I never realized the different faces on the gargoyles until I started taking photographs. At that point, I got a bit carried away with photographing different architectural elements on the cathedral!

Freelance travel writer. My current fiction writing projects include a completed manuscript and several works in progress.

By the way, my name is pronounced fred-ah, not freed-ah. Thank you.

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