"Paris is like a mistress who does not grow old and she has other lovers now" - Ernest Hemingway
It’s quiet. Clean, marble and white floors, and dark wooden doors.
Pockets of sweet-smelling courtyards, of crumbling chalky steps and thick pillars. Long shadows stretch into the evening.
The hum of prayers as worshippers mingle with tourists. A small pile of shoes and bare feet slapping, visitors snapping cameras and craning their necks.
I visited the Grand Mosque in Paris on the day it was revealed that a second American news reporter had been beheaded by a reported representatives of a political/religious group called ISIS (said to stand for the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant.)
The brutality and chaos of that event, could not be further away from the peace and serenity of the Grand Mosque. It sits next to the well-known Jardin des Plantes, about 15 or 20 minutes’ walk from the River Seine and the Pont Marie metro station.
Never in central Paris have I found anywhere so quiet and clean, and both massive and at the same time humble.
And after you spend hours, or even just minutes, soaking it all in, you can go round the corner for a cup of sweet mint tea.
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Inside the departures lounge area of Bristol Airport. Some black and white photos taken while waiting for my flight to Paris Charles de Gaulle airport.
There is something unworldly about the ‘other’ side of the airport. Once you’re through the customs desk and security checks, it’s like limbo.
It’s like a dull theme park. Disney World but emptier. Fewer people dressed up as animals, more seating and coffee.
Lots of glass and polished floors and tubes of steel.
And many people waiting.
But in the end, the rides are pretty good. And worth waiting for.
Three Steps, One Pub.
A high resolution version of this photo is available for download and prints over here. This link will open in a new window. Thanks for looking.