Twice a year, once in the summer and again around the holidays, a large Ferris wheel makes an appearance on Place de la Concorde, smack in the middle of Paris. It's a little incongruous, set next to the gilded gates to the Tuileries and opposite the ornate statues and fountains in the Place. Yesterday was the last day of the season and we decided to take advantage of it. The weather was a bit of everything -- windy, wet, clearing and darkening all at once -- but the cabins were fully enclosed and protected from the elements, and the views, save for the raindrops on the glass, were still incredible. Fortunately there was no line; regrettably the ride was over in a flash.
Hôtel de Crillon, one of Paris's fanciest hotels, with the tricoleur flying
Crazy clouds swirl around Sacre Coeur and the Opera
Soggy Tuileries Gardens with the Louvre and I.M. Pei's pyramid in the background
That's one big wheel.
Quintessence of Paris: looking over the obelisk in the Place de la Concorde, up the Champs-Élysées to the Arc de Triomphe with the skyscrapers of La Defense in the distance.