Paris It Is

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What can be more exciting than waking up in a city that you have heard all about, always wanted to travel to, and have seen in many pictures, on TV and in movies. Well Paris France doesn’t disappoint. It wasn’t the first time I had gone to Europe but once I had landed in Paris, I knew that I had truly arrived.

Of course I had all of the tourist spots that I wanted to visit mapped out before I left my home country, however I was surprised by all of the historical and monumental buildings I saw that I never researched. To mention a few, The Hotel Des Invalides was a welcomed surprise as the grounds are beautifully manicured and the building was built by King Louis XIV as a hospital for war veterans. It’s also holds the tomb of Napoleon Bonaparte.

Another great surprise was the Jardin Des Tuileries. One of Paris’s first public parks. A beautiful area with sculptures, fountains, museums and places to sit and relax. This made the walk to the Louvre a spectacular adventure.

What I must say that I love the most about Paris, is that it is a beautiful walking city, and if you get tired everything is just a metro ride away.

Now on to the usual highlights of Paris.

Eiffel Tower- It looks just as it does in all of the pictures that have been shown all over the world. Unfortunately the day we went was not a bright and shiny one, but a little on the cool and greyish side. Either way it was well worth the Journey. I might suggest that you get there early as the line up to take the elevators can be tremendously long. My other suggestion is that you take the stair walk to the second level and if you want, continue up to the top of the tower by elevator. The stairs are a bit on the challenging side but you can stop whenever you want to take a breath. Not only do you save yourself a long time of waiting in line, you also get to exercise. I recommend this only because the line up on this side is considerably shorter than the main entrance one, (probably because most people don’t know about it.)

Louvre Museum -Doesn’t disappoint. Not only was it impressive from the outside, but once you venture in it is absolutely astonishing. Whether you are into museums or not, just being there is a sight to behold. It will take you hours just to walk through all of the different areas that they have. These areas house magnificent paintings, artifacts and sculptures that are worth the time to view. It’s also a good idea to rent the audio guide for a minuscule price that gives you information on the paintings and its artist. I was not familiar with a vast majority of the artist and their paintings as their names are not common place, but it didn’t matter as the masterpieces alone were truly awesome.

Notre Dame Cathedral- Is a classic site and a place you have to see when you travel to Paris. This exceptionally large French Gothic Cathedral houses a tremendous amount of history and offers solace and peace to those who enter through its doors. Silence is golden so remember no loud talking when you go in. The line up at the main entrance seems long at first but it moves fairly fast.

Musée d’Orsay – Houses art and sculptures whose artist names might be more familiar than some of those of the Louvre. Impressionist paintings by artist such as Degas, Monet, Manet, Cezanne, Renoir and Van Gogh are displayed thorough out this wonderful museum. It will take you a few hours to tour this place as it is quite large. The wait time to get in was fairly short and the line moved fast. Another beautiful museum that will no doubt impress.

Arc de Triomphe and Champs Elysees must be seen as the Arc De Triomphe marks the start or end of the Champs- Elysees. Needless to say while on your stroll you will be able to see a multitude of stores, and restaurants that will feast your eyes whether you actually purchase anything or not. Don’t forget to stroll down the side streets that surround the Champs Elysees as they also have lots of famous and international brand named stores to shop in as well.

Sacre-Coeur – This beautiful basilica is located at the highest point in Paris. The city views from here are stunning and are awe inspiring. You are allowed to go in even while the service is being held. Just like all places of worship, It is requested that you be quiet and refrain from taking flash pictures. The area of Montmartre also has lots of places to eat and hang around in once you finish with your tour of the Basilica.

Gallery Lafayette- I wouldn’t feel right if I didn’t mention another area of shopping that one might be interested in. This is a department store with six floors of shopping and has all of the major designers located under one roof. A beautiful place that will dazzle the eyes. When you get tired of shopping don’t forget to go to the roof top and take in a beautiful view of the city.

Palace of Versailles-Versailles- Approximately 35-40 minutes outside of the Paris City Centre, but easy to get to by the Metro, this unbelievable 18, 000 square meter palace is a sight to behold. Its opulence alone is well worth the visit. The grounds are so large and well manicured that it’s hard to believe that someone doesn’t get lost in there. The Palace itself is so magnificent that it boast its own chapel within it’s walls. Not to mention the hall of mirrors and the fabulous paintings and sculptures that it houses. The shoes made of pots are also cool and unique. A definite must see at some point during your trip to Paris. A suggestion is that you tour the grounds first before you do the palace as the grounds close earlier than the palace does.


write by JOHNATHAN GIPSON

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