Coke Smith Photography & Travelogue

Paris Baby!

                          Som appreciating an "exploded" Goliathus goliatus seen during our private                                              tour of the largest insect collection on earth.


Way back in 2007, our family had the pleasure of hanging out in Paris for a full week while on our way to the Russian Far East!  What a week!  This was my third trip to the "City of Love" and I have yet to tire of this magnificent town.

The first time I came to Paris was way back in 1994 with my mom, dad and Lien.  We stayed for a few days and had a blast as well.  This time was with Cokie and Som! 

We spent about a week biking the side streets of Paris visiting basically every single nook and cranny of the entire city.  We had a wonderful time visiting the sights and museums and shops of the many neighborhoods.  We hung out in the Sorbonne and walked the bowels of the Paris sewers and Catacombes.  We experienced the great art collections of the Louvre, the Musee D'Orsay, and so many more. 

It was during this trip that we learned of our dear friend, Victor's death, so we spent time in Notre Dame commemorating his life.  This was my first actual spiritual visit in to a cathedral of this type in my life.  I must admit, this added dimension made my appreciation of this special place even higher.


Be sure to visit our Photo Galleries for more spectacular images of our travels! (Pbase Galleries)


Here are a few images of this amazing city and of our week-long adventure there in 2006!



The beautiful arch near the Louvre Museum.  Our great "Tim Hotel" was located directly across the street from the Louvre!  The location could not have been better.



We visited Sacre Couer a couple times.  We had good times exploring the quaint neighborhoods of the mount.




We sampled some of the fresh produce available in some of the ethnic neighborhoods of Paris.  This one was located at the base of Sacre Couer.



Cokie and Som posing as chess peices somewhere in Paris.



Some places like the Eiffel Tower and the Arc du Triomphe need no introduction.  Som was thrilled with the FOUR hour wait in line to travel to the top of the Eiffel Tower...



Notre Dame is no longer a spectacular tourist destination for me.  When we learned of Victor's death, we meditated and prayed in the temple for some time in remembrance of our dear friend.  I cannot think of a more special place to say goodbye to our mate.  We later had a buddhist ceremony in Datsan, Russia, at Russia's most sacred Buddhist site.



When I saw this bell, I visualized Quasimodo ringing the same bell so long ago.  The Hunchback of Notre Dame was my first introduction to the wonderous city of Paris.



The Paris Catacombes are an amazing place!  So many dead people in one place!


The highpoint of the Paris stay for me was the Museum of Natural History.  This was my only sample of nature while there (unless you count the sewer rats we saw the day before...).  Here is Cokie posing next to "Coke's Hartebeest".  While in the massive museum complex, we pleaded our way in to the main insect collection in the Department of Entomology.  We had a private tour of some of the most valuable collections anywhere. Paris is home to the world's largest bug collection!  Now I have seen the top five: Paris, London, the Smithsonian, Chicago, New York, Harvard, the Bishop, California Academy, Los Angeles....




Cokie with the "shy face" statue.



While we did sample some outstanding French food, we found that Sushi was actually the bargain food in Paris.  We ate sushi every night for dinner except for one when we had some great French Country Cooking!  I think I had goose.



Cokie posing with some friends at the Louvre.



It took awhile but we finally found the Salvador Dali museum in the backstreets of Sacre Couer.  I love this artist.



Every night we enjoyed spectacular Paris sunsets. And after sunset we always went to the "Party Bridge" (directly across from Pont Nuef).  We really enjoyed the summer nights along that lively bridge.




I will never forget watching The Davinci Code and hearing the detective claim that this pyramid was a "scar on the face of Paris".  I actually think it is beautiful.

Be sure to visit our Photo Galleries for more spectacular images of our travels! (Pbase Galleries)