Walks down the beautiful boulevards, strolls in the beautiful parks, visits to the iconic museums, the sight of the beautifully lit Eiffel Tower, chic labels from Champs-Élysées, romances in Montmartre, weddings in Notre Dame, outdoor cafes with cobblestones and umbrellas, rides on the Vespa, locks on the love-lock bridge, sugary dessert-tasting like a modern Mary Antoinette, breakfasts with croissants and brunches with strawberries and Champagne, The picturesque ‘City of Light’ cannot get more fabulous than that!
Nothing can be better than a sponsored trip to Paris by Alliance Francaise. Grabbing the wonderful opportunity, I along with my friends left no stone unturned to explore every inch of this quaint city. We traveled to the city from Lyon in a train. The train ride was a delight in itself. After a fun-filled yet tiring 4-hour journey, brunch at one of the street cafes proved to be an instant re-energizer.
Paris is synonyms with the Eiffel Tower. However, the beautiful city has more to it than just tower. A house to the intriguing Mona Lisa, gourmet food, amazing wines and beautiful architecture, Paris is a hub to have a one-of-a-kind experience.
Paris is not just about glamour as well. It is a city where you can bask in solitude. There are many old libraries where one can consume the classics while sipping coffee. There are parks to roam and enjoy bird-watching. There are charming places to shop and indulge yourself in sinful delights. One can also have a religious experience at several grottos and cathedrals where you find yourself at peace. It is not odd for people to take solo trips to this destination.
It is mandatory to start with the world-famous triangle museum. I visited the famous Louvre on the first day of my visit itself. The word- ‘Exquisite’ falls short to describe what is there inside. It is a marvel in its own right. Right from the works of Monet, Da Vinci and Pollock, it is a house to so many artistic sculptures and miniature creations. The enigmatic Mona Lisa stands tall amidst all the artistic pieces.
A city known for architecture, it has Cleaopatra’s needle, one of the Egyptian Obesliks. The Arc De Triomphe is another iconic monument gate which is quite similar to New York City’s Washington Square Park Gate. The Love-Lock Bridge is yet another attraction where people tie locks to the bridge to strengthen their bond with their loved ones.
No one can blame Victor Hugo for being in awe of Cathedral Du Notre Dame, a tall, gothic cathedral with a centuries-old bell-tower. A house to ‘Quasimodo’, you feel the essence of Hugo’s ‘Hunchback of the Notre Dame’ in that area. The essence of the bygone era is still palpable in the old theatres and forts that are standing amidst the modern cosmopolitan structures.
Places of Attraction:
- Musee de Louvre
- Eiffel Tower
- Cathedrale de Notre Dame
- Cleaopatra’s Needle
- Arc De Triomphe
- Love-lock bridge
A heaven for the foodies, Paris goes out of the way to prepare delectable cuisines. While wine, bread and cheese are the staples, I experimented with a lot of vegetarian dishes which were surprisingly good (Considering my die-hard love for spicy curries!) at Hollybelly. The salads are very creative and the cafés are filled with the aroma of freshly-baked bread.
People swear by macrons and croissants and I found around 50 patisseries in the vicinity of Eiffel tower. Montmartre boasts of several eateries which serve excellent finger-food. A classic French breakfast of sunny-side-up eggs, buttered toasts, freshly-squeezed orange juice, croissant and mashed potatoes is to die for!
For a meat-lover, Paris is a heaven as it serves seared lambs and bouillabaisse, a traditional French soup and meat dish. We went to Café De La Paix, a diner cum café for dinner and had ratatouille, a soup cum veggie/meat signature French dish. The Le Maharaja, an Indian restaurant famous for its hot curries was a total delight for the tourists as well as the natives.
When in Paris, a girl needs to shop! One can never get enough of the boutiques in the corner or the classy brands in Champs-Élysées. Chanel, Dior, Louis Vuitton, Jimmy Choo, name the brand and you will find it in L’avenue des Champs-Élysées.
Many couples hang-out near the avenue and the cliché ‘Love Is in the air of Paris’ is not so cliché after all. While there are many stores, the city is high on flea market culture as well. The colorful
markets also sell fresh food produce like cheese, cream and strawberries. We went to Rue Cinq Flea market and were amazed to look at the exuberant crowd and colorful props.
Every now and then, I treat myself to French movies. The aura and the settings shown are not at all unrealistic. There are beautiful areas, there are Gothic localities, there are the classic boulevards with cherry-blossom trees and there are dark dingy areas that are not safe for tourists. If we properly understand the dos and dont’s of the city itinerary, Paris is a safe city.
We have seen the best of Paris. Yet, it is never enough. It’s a beautiful place rich in heritage, culture and art. Epitome of love, Paris is the most-loved romantic destinations. Every crack and crevice has a story behind it and the ruins hold magic. The fountains are epic and the churches are epitome of sanctity. I never thought, I was creating lifetime memories. I thought I was just having fun. And I could help but write this:
A quaint city of food, fashion and culture
Romance is always in the air
Its everlasting magic and splendor
Ah! C’est Paris!