DAY 09 - Valerie and I head to the Metro station before dawn so we can queue up for a site only open during Journées du Patrimoine: Le Palais de L'Élysée. Since the palace is not open to the public at any other time of the year, this may be our only chance to EVER see the President of France's residence!
We reach the main entrance on Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, but apparently the queue will be forming on the opposite side of the palace...along the Champs-Elysées! For a very brief moment, we thought we might be first in line.
Valerie lines up, but I need to find a restroom. I get a nice view of the Arc de Triomphe as I cross the Champs-Elysées
Though we have arrived before dawn, a line has already formed
Sunrise touches the east facing walls of the Grand Palais and its quadriga "Immortality outstripping Time"
Sunrise touches the Arc de Triomphe...if only I could hop out of line to get a clear shot
Ferraris drive down the Champs-Elysées. We have been seeing and hearing F-cars passing by all morning, but I cannot leave the line to get good photographs of them
Finally through security, we cut through Jardins des Champs-Élysées...and then end up in another line near a fountain (Fontaine de la Grille du Coq)
Apparently there is another security checkpoint ahead!
Approaching the back gate
Grille du Coq....yes, that is a gilded rooster atop this gate
Through this second layer of security, we finally catch our first glimpse of Le Palais de L'Élysée
A lone security guard makes sure visitors stay off the grass
So this is where the French President lives. The central structure appears to be similar in size to the White House, but this palace is obviously larger and more colorful than the American President's residence.
Looking back towards the fountain
Palais de l'Élysée Panorama (hugin-stitched)
We will be entering the palace via the open door to the right
Is François Hollande home?
Valerie and I step into Salon d’Argent (too bad this shot is a tad blurry)