Place Dauphine in Île de la Cité

{ Mar 2012 - Paris, France }

A small little island right in the middle of Paris and surrounded by the river Seine - that's Île de la Cité. It is considered the epicentre of the city, and it is where the famous Notre Dame Cathedral is on.

Wanting to start our exploration of Paris on our first day, we started on the other side of the island. We reached it via Pont Neuf, where we were instantly met by the statue of Henry IV right in the middle of the bridge. Pont Neuf means "New Bridge" but it is now the oldest standing bridge in Paris. From here, we took some steps down to the River Seine, and had our first stroll along the river bank.

Just a few steps from there, we walked into an open triangular square. This small, quiet and charming Place Dauphine is a great place to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city if you ever needed to wind down. Just to think that across the river bank, are all the traffic and people in the metropolitan Paris.

We read that you may sometimes see lawyers on their lunch break playing boules! But no, we did not see that when we were there. Instead, we saw a group doing tai chi! Just goes to show how universal the world is! That is one thing I realised whenever I travel - the more places I travel to, the more I realised how similar we are all becoming. We also see Parisians walking their dogs, and enjoying the beautiful weather on the bench.

For a small square, Place Dauphine has many cafe and restaurants, and is a great place for lunch or dinner. We decided to have lunch by the park at the restaurant Le Caveau du Palais (17 Place Dauphine 75001 Paris). We asked for recommendations, and ordered duck confit and another roasted meat dish. It was probably my first "real" French duck confit, and even after a few more in the country, the one we had on our first day was pretty amazing.

We ended the lunch with espresso, to fight off the jet lag and to get ready for our walk on Île de la Cité which will bring us to Notre Dame Cathedral.

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