Sunday, December 14, 2008

In Pursuit of Liberty

New York Harbor? No. Try a tiny island in the middle of the river Seine, just a bit down and around the bend from the Eiffel Tower.

I had seen Lady Liberty's twin before, but only while looking out of a moving train window. So I decided today that my quest would be to go and visit her. And just like the pursuit of liberty itself, it wasn't easy.

Two Metro trains, a ride on the RER C and lots of walking later, I finally found myself standing at the base of the statue. No tourists here - none. Just a lone jogger. Granted, it was a cold and rainy day. But still, it was sort of sad - she looked kind of lonely.

I wasn't clear about the history of the statue until I read the inscription on the base. Apparently this smaller version of the Statue of Liberty was presented to the city by the American Community in Paris in 1986 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of France giving the original statue to the United States in 1886 (on the 100th anniversary of the American Revolution in 1776). Kind of cool, huh? Lest there be any confusion here... FRANCE IS OUR FRIEND PEOPLE :-)

I really wanted to get a photo of the statue with the Eiffel Tower in the background, but to do so, I had to walk way down river to the next bridge. Which I did. But the problem is that it is so far, that as you see in the photo, you can hardly see the statue.

The trick - for those of you who come here someday and want to try this yourselves - is not to make this quest on foot. The best way to see (and best way to take photos of) Mademoiselle Liberty is by taking a boat ride down the Seine on one of the many Bateaux Mouches, and you'll float right by her.

Click here to view all of today's photos (12/14/08)

No comments: