After a long exhausting trip, changing two buses, an airplane, and then another two buses I finally reached the capital of France, Paris. My boyfriend was already waiting for me there, as he arrived that day earlier with a train. It was great seeing him, especially in Paris – the acclaimed city of love. And for me, it was the city of love that week, but not for being famous for it.
Now, where to start? It’s hard to describe Paris as it is. The atmosphere is special, it is huge, but not hectic, with it’s grand boulevards, distinctive buildings and winding streets. You always have something to see, just walking around leads to some kind of impressive building or square. Just like that, a majestic palace/church/town hall pops up in front of you like it is the most common thing in the world. The first day we took the wrong direction and ended up in Montmarte. The white-domed Basilica of Sacré Cœur. Later on we went to see the Eiffel Tower. The tower is something, you really get a special feeling when you see it in person.
Notre Dame is miraculous. I was very looking forward to seeing it. The high walls, ribbed ceiling, rose windows and fine details – it is a text-book example of everything I love about Gothic architecture. The flying buttresses are amazing. As you can see, I wasn’t disappointed at all.
Our schedule was flexible so we walked around a lot. The city is packed with beautiful, cultivated parks that just invite you to sit and enjoy the moment. Parisians are very relaxed, the stereotypes are true to some level; they love to wine and dine and they can’t (won’t) speak a word of English. Luckily Tobi can speak French, hence we didn’t have problems communicating/getting around. The cafes are very charming, mostly situated on the edge of the buildings, so you practically sit on the streets. And the city is very friendly to students, especially to EU students, offering discounts and free entry in many museums.
Undoubtedly the thing that impressed me most is the Palace of Versailles. I was immediately struck by the size of the Versailles gardens. The complex is HUGE. We spent a whole afternoon there and still didn’t manage to see even 30% of it. The beautifully arranged parts with groups of fountains and sculptures depicting myths and stories confirmed my initial impression that it is an masterpiece. The weather was perfect, not too hot and sunny. After walking around for several hours we found a couple of comfortable chairs and relaxed reading a book. Days wouldn’t suffice to see the whole landscape. The interior of the palace is, as well, very beautiful. One cannot help but be impressed by the embellished, luxurious decor of the walls and furniture. And the fact that it is a reminder and evidence of world-changing events gives the experience of being there exceptional depth.
Louvre was great, but very exhausting 😀 the collection is really big and by the time we got trough the departments, we were tired and starving. According to Wikipedia it contains more than 380,000 objects! Now that’s something.
We visited the Père Lachaise Cemetery, République, the Opera National de Paris, Ile St.-Louis, Moulin Rouge and much much more.
I wasn’t completely sure what to think of the city before arriving and was afraid to be disappointed because of all the fuss. But Paris pleasantly surprised me. It was a beautiful week in a beautiful city.
Lots of love,