The city of Paris is an artist’s dream. Every building is a masterpiece. The bridges are filigreed and lined with sculptures… It’s incredibly stunning. I feel so lucky to have been able to see this city. My only regret is that my pictures are very subpar – we didn’t have any time to wander individually in Paris, so everything was taken through a window.
For those of you lovelies just tuning, I’ve been sharing my European adventures on Saturdays over the last month! Each of these posts standalone, but if you want to check out all the other beautiful destinations, head on over to me Transatlantic Cruise 2018 tag!
We waited two weeks for a glimpse of sunshine, and in Paris, we finally got it! I was both excited and terrified to go to this city – another of my Bucket List places – and it did not disappoint. I understand that Paris is one of those cities that a lot of people visit, then leave disappointed or feel as though they were unsafe – that was not my personal experience. Perhaps it’s because I was with a tour group, but the city was lovely and brimming with life. It had such vibrancy and depth that I could go back and spend weeks in the city alone.
If I returned to Paris, I’d want to spend an afternoon at the Place de la Concord. I’d want to see the Catacombs beneath Paris, where I couldn’t get from our cruise tour. I’d spend a week at the Louvre, an afternoon at Notre-Dame. I didn’t get to see as much as I would have liked, but we saw a lot.
Approaching the city, you can see the Eiffel Tower rising over the city like a beacon. The Eiffel Tower was never intended to be a permanent landmark in this beautiful city – it was erected as a technological wonder for the 1889 World’s Fair, celebrating the centennial of the French Revolution. It remains in the Champ de Mars to this day and is one of the most iconic landmarks in the world.
We we approached the city, the Eiffel Tower was visible from the front of the bus. Since we were near the back, we didn’t actually see it until we were well embraced by Paris itself. The first monument we saw was the Arc de Triomphe.
The Arc de Triomphe was of course, something you hear about in high school French and one of the known landmarks of Paris, but I never really appreciated it until I saw it. Not only in the Arc towering, but it is beautiful. The carvings and sculptures along the arc… it’s truly incredible. I had no idea it would be so awesome. I had no idea you could go to the top even until after I was back home again. This tower is very much worth a see, if you find yourself in Paris.
Many of the landmarks and statues in Paris were under construction, including this one of Immortality Outstripping Time by Georges Recipon on the Grand Palais.
Paris is covered with lovely statues and memories at every street corner, perched on buildings, and resting in parks and plazas. My favorite plaza was the Place de la Concorde, which boasts Le Grand Roue (“The Big Wheel”), an Egyptian obelisk capped in gold, and the beautiful twin fountains.
For example, the stunning Fontaine des Mers (“Fountain of the Seas”).
I really cannot empathize enough how beautiful the city is.
If you’re thinking about visiting the Lourve, they say you can only see a few masterpieces in a day and it’s better to spend a week. If you think that’s a mild exaggeration, check out the crowds:
This is only a very small section of the Louvre’s ground. Still… the stark contrast between the glass pyramids and the lovely stone architecture adds to the beauty of both, don’t you think?
We got a quick glimpse of Notre-Dame before heading around the Champ de Mars.
Tourists are a piece of work, my loves, let me tell you. As soon as we rounded the corner were we started getting any sort of view of the Eiffel Tower, everyone rushed the the side of the bus to taking pictures, cramming all over one another. I’m sort of surprised the bus didn’t tip! At this time, I’d like to point out the benefit of a zoom lens and a proper camera as opposed to camera phones and iPads.
Especially iPads. For the love of all that is good, please don’t take an iPad with you on vacation to use as a camera. Your phone has a better camera, and your iPad gets in everybody’s else’s way. I have SO MANY THOUGHTS about the tourists I travelled with and their photography etiquette… especially in Paris… but you’re not here for that! So suffice it to say that when you’re on vacation and taking pictures, use your zoom wisely, be considerate of those around you, and once you have taken a picture, move on to give others their chance.
Anyway! Eiffel Tower!
And the bottom.
I’m afraid I don’t have any pictures of the Tower as a whole! Between being on a bus and all the people in the windows…this is what I got! It’s alright, though, because I have mentally images of the whole thing in my mind, safe and sound. 🙂
After taking a ride around the Champ de Mars, we disembarked and boarded a glass boat for lunch and another view of the city. Viewing Paris from the Seine is lovely, definitely worth supplementing your visit if you have a limited amount of time to view paris.
In particular, I was grateful to be able to see Notre-Dame from a different perspective.
As I mentioned when I spoke about the Winchester Cathedral, the churches in Europe are some of the most beautiful places in the world.
I wish I could give true light to how beautiful this city is. Paris in person is stunning in a way that nothing else I’ve every seen can compare to.
If I can leave you with just one thought, it is this:
Go to Paris. Breathe in the city and bask in its light and beauty. If you only have one day, take that one day and embrace it.