2017-03-21 Tue


Photos of three well-known cites appeared in the weekend paper.

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Left: London.

Top-right: Paris

Bottom-right : Frankfurt

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I think that I know Paris better than I do London. I have certainly spent more time in Paris (2½ years) than in London (six months).

The caption here reads “The traffic moves along Avenue de Chaps Élysées in the La Défense District ...”.

Which is, of course, absolutely wrong. A trivial correction to “The traffic moves along Avenue de Chaps Élysées TOWARDS the La Défense District ...” would do the trick, but how does a travel writer make such a mistake?

For what it is worth La Défense is that cluster of buildings in the distance, perhaps six kilometres west from where this photo was taken. Which is above Place de la Concord if I’m any judge. About as near as dammit to the geographical heart of Paris city itself.

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Just to show you how much a photo can mislead, if you said “Describe London” to someone, chances are that they would conjure up an image of the tower that houses the bell Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament, The Tower, Tower Bridge, nelson’s Column, St Paul’s cathedral, and any of half a dozen other landmarks. None of which appear in this photo.

Not that I mind this photo. It’s good to see a different view of London, different from the postcards.

Just that I need to be aware when I see a photo of a world-class city, that I don’t go away thinking that I know anything about that city.

London is NOT a very flat city with only one tall building.

La Défense does NOT have a beautiful tree-lined boulevard. La Défense is rather a gritty concrete bundle that houses office-workers. Best observed from the RER-line-A which travels underground, mercifully, right through the La Défense District.