Ooh La La... hero's welcome for Obamas in Paris

7th June 2009, Comments 0 comments

US President Barack Obama and his family received a hero's welcome in Paris on Saturday as they were given a private tour of the famed Notre Dame cathedral.

Paris - US President Barack Obama and his family received a hero's welcome in Paris on Saturday as they were given a private tour of the famed Notre Dame cathedral.

Thousands of cheering Parisians and tourists lined bridges over the River Seine as the presidential motorcade swept past, desperate for a glimpse of Obama, his wife Michelle, 10-year-old Malia and seven-year-old Sasha.

Applause and whistles erupted as Obama's 20-vehicle motorcade pulled in to the large square in front of the cathedral, closed off to the public specially for his visit.

With Paris abuzz, the presidential party spent more than a hour being given a tour of the 12th century cathedral, considered one of the finest examples of French gothic architecture in the world.

The crowd below erupted jubilantly when the Obama daughters Malia and Sasha, on their first trip with dad since he became president, waved from a balcony high on the iconic building.

There was no disappointment from sightseers hoping to get inside the cathedral, simply excitement that an even bigger attraction was in town.

"It doesn't matter we'll come back tomorrow, we wanted to see Obama anyway," one of a group of Venezuelans said.

Security was tight around Notre Dame -- located on Ile de la Cite, an island in the heart of Paris on the River Seine -- with sharp shooters in place and a helicopter hovering overhead. Police had earlier cleared out the cathedral.

Obama, in France for commemorations to mark the 65th anniversary of D-Day, was to dine later with his family at a Parisian restaurant before returning to the home of the US ambassador, a French presidential source said.

AFP / Expatica

0 Comments To This Article