Transatlantic Cruise: Paris (6/8)

Posted June 9, 2018 by Amber in Real World / 10 Comments

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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!

So Paris.

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!

The top!

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.

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Have you every been to Paris?

What is your favorite landmark?

What cities are on your bucket list?
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10 responses to “Transatlantic Cruise: Paris (6/8)

  1. Paris sounds amazing!!! My sister took a “round trip” around Europe last year and she said Paris was beautiful. She also went to Dubai, Abu Dhabi, London, Amsterdam 2 years ago and I’m so jealous lol. She loves traveling and has a whole bucket list of places she wants to go! Also, every time I think of the Louvre, I think of Lorde’s song “The Louvre” lol. Totally different meaning but still mentions how exotic the pyramids are. 😃😍

    • Amber

      I don’t think I’ve heard that song? I feel like I haven’t heard any Lorde’s stuff in a while – I’m gonna pop over to YouTube and check that one out as soon as I post this comment. 🙂

      I’ve heard Dubai is INCREDIBLE and I’d love to go to Amsterdam. There are so many places we’d like to go too, but they get more complicated … like for example my husband really wants to go to Japan, and I want to go to Australia… but we not interested in the others’ choice. The cruises are nice because they’re curated and you can save some money that way (plus less flying. Flying is super expensive?), but I think as we start to pick and choose places, we’re going to have to start flying more. Ugh. 🙂

      Still, I’m so grateful. This year has been the first time my hubby and I have really been able to go anywhere without substantial financial worry, so it’s really nice to finally be at that place. 🙂 I’m sure you’ll get there, whether it’s time or money or whatever! 🙂

      • Danielle

        You’re SOO lucky you even get to decide where you wanna go with your hubs haha! The only time I’ve been outside the country is Jamaica where my family is from. But Japan and Australia sounds fun!

        • Amber

          This is so new to us, and we are so lucky. 🙂 I’m determined to get all sorts of adventure in while I can!

          (Psst, I’m going to Jamaica next spring! Anything special I should try or do or eat? 🙂 )

          • Danielle

            Niiiice!! Eat plenty of Jamaican beef patties, rice & peas, jerk chicken, kale, ackee & salt fish (I personally don’t like that dish but it’s their main breakfast meal), fried dumplings, festival (which is like fried dumplings but made differently)! I’m all about food when I go there lmao! 😋

          • Amber

            The food is the best part of traveling, lol! I’m all about the jerk chicken – that’s a must-have for sure. I’ll make note of the other things! 😀 😀 😀

  2. I was in Paris in 2013 for 10 days and I still feel cheated. There is SOOO much to see!! I hope you are able to go back and spend more time there in the future. It’s incredible and so unique. Thank you for posting your pictures! I miss the time I spent there.

    • Amber

      The city itself seems alive, doesn’t it? Right down to the statues. I hope to go back too! There’s so much to see.

  3. I loved photographing Paris but I didn’t enjoy as a PLACE. We experienced so much rudeness — it was really over the top — and a general sense of apathy about their city. Still, I’m glad we went. The Eiffel Tower was much more interesting and enjoyable than I expected. We loved climbing Notre Dame and seeing the view from there. We also have a lovely wander through Pere LaChaise cemetery.

    Meaghan Walsh Gerard recently posted: It’s Monday – June 11
    • Amber

      Oh no, that’s so disappointing to hear! We didn’t get to interact with many native Parisians, since we were on a bust tour, so I didn’t get that genuine exposure. i’d love to spend some more time in Notre Dame – I think the cathedral amazed me more than any of our other stops. 🙂