“Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder”
I love French Cheeses and Wines and thanks to them I started a love affair with Paris ! I had dreamed of taking this trip for a long time: for seeing Paris before I die and for changing my mind about "the snobbish French" who look down on anybody! I do not know If that happened. I need to come back and to spend more than 5 days there ! That's why I realized I have never been to Paris yet!
Last Easter I visited my lovely friend Debby who worked in a delicious restaurant near Notre Dame de Paris called "Il Ristorante di Como". I landed in Beauvais–Tillé Airport . After 30 minutes by bus I reached my hotel in Rue Daguerre, where I stayed only for a night, because my friend's new apartment, where she had to move the same day I arrived, wasn't ready to be used. I will remember my glass of Poully Fumé (purely Sauvignon Blanc) forever, my favourite French White Wine , paired with oysters, but I will forget my stay in that accomodation for its stuffy smell and a shared shower I never reserved it at all ! So average prices in Paris is not, however, a guarantee of quality! I was sure of being able to recover myself the following day with my friend.
My first morning in Paris was nicely framed with a dark coffee , an unforgettable butter croissant and my thought fixed in meeting my friend Debby and relaxing myself in her flat in the 7th arrondisement late in the evning after my visit at Louvre!
Debby's flat was so messy -previous homeowner's fault-that I kissed my appartament's ground as I was back home! My reward was not only my time with my friends, but Paris as well. I can’t tell you if Paris , this magic city by the Seine, was hot or cold that day while I was walking towards the desidered goal. I can’t tell you if it rained. All I know is that I loved it! It made an impression on me. I was thoroughly taken with the big, gothic churches, the wide, tree-lined boulevards, the museums, parks, and brasseries. Definitely, I had the right quantity of energy for the Louvre, my favorite museums of all time. The Louvre Palace is a former Royal Palace located on the Right Bank of the Seine in Paris, between the Tuileries Gardens and the church of Saint-Germain l'Auxerrois. Originally a fortress built in the medieval period, it became a royal palace in the 14th century under Charles V and was used from time to time by the kings of France as their main Paris residence. Its present structure has evolved in stages since the 16th century. In 1793 part of the Louvre became a public museum with an exhibition of 537 works of art. Its collection steadily grew throughout the 18th and 19th century, but ultimately slowed during the World Wars. Luckily, much of the art in the museum was moved and protected during the wars and most of the truly important pieces were saved. In early 1945, after the Liberation of France, the works were moved back to the museum. There are eight categories of art in the Louvre; Egyptian Antiquities, New Eastern Antiquities, Greek, Etruscan and Roman Antiquities, Islamic Art, Sculpture, Decorative Arts, Paintings, and Prints and Drawings. The museum is spread out over 60,600 square meters. I knew the 7 hours I planned to spend there wasn’t going to be nearly enough. But I never thought I’d walk away after seeing something for 7 hours feeling like I saw nothing! The Louvre is the biggest museum in the world with thousands of square feet of space and millions of exhibits. It houses pieces from classical times to the 19th century. Even with maps, I got lost wandering the hallways. The museum is just too big! There are nearly 400,000 objects in the museum, separated into eight different categories that include 35,000 works of Art.
My art interests laid in three places and some must-see works :
- Greek Sculptures;
- 18th-century Dutch works;
- Impressionism ;
- The "Winged Victory", the "Venus de Milo", the "Virgin on the Rocks", the "Mona Lisa", the "Liberty leading the Way"
There were such astonishingly beautiful things to see, but just walking the full length of all the galleries, without stopping to look, took me the best part of the rest of the day!
3rd Day, 4th and 5th days
Top 6 things to do in Paris in my last 3 days :
- Eiffel Tower : this is without doubt the most iconic landmark in Paris (if not France!), and a visit here is a must for any visit to Paris. There are a number of ways to enjoy Eiffel Tower. First, you can just enjoy the views of the tower, which we think are particularly good from the Trocadero Gardens across the river, or the Champ de Mars gardens behind the Eiffel Tower. You can also go up inside the Eiffel Tower to one of the different floors, for expansive views of the city.
- Notre Dame: it is the major Catholic Cathedral in a Seine river cruise. Construction of this magnificent building took nearly two hundred years, and was completed in 1345. Entry to Notre Dame is free, although you do have to go through security, and lines are sometimes long.
- Arc de Triomphe: it's a key place of major national events. Wanted by Napoleon in 1806, the Arc de Triomphe was inaugurated in 1836 by French king, Louis-Philippe, who dedicated it to the armies of the Revolution and the Empire. The Unknown Soldier was buried at the base of the arch in 1921. The flame of remembrance is rekindled every day at 18:30.
- Montmartre: it is one of the prettiest parts of Paris, built on a hill on the northern-most extremity of the city,Montmartre stands out from the rest of the capital, visible from afar and topped by the Sacré Cœur basilica. Its winding maze of sloping, cobbled streets and steep staircases give it its own distinct atmosphere and, at nearly every turn, reveal stunning panoramic views of the rest of Paris and lovely expanses of sky.
- Musée d'Orsay : before you get here, you’re going to take a walk along Paris’s iconic left bank, from Notre Dame to the Musée d'Orsay. This isn’t too far, but you’ll see the booksellers and get a feel for this part of town.
- Cafè de Flore: is one of the oldest coffeehouses in Paris celebrated for its famous clientele, which in the past included high-profile writers and philosophers.
- Night cruise on the river Seine: Treat yourself to an unforgettable night in Paris with a Seine River Cruise.
This was a great choice! I think that was the perfect amount of things not to miss giving me the chance to see many of the top sights and attractions of Paris and really got a feel for the city. Of course, if you have longer, that’s even better, but 5 days is certainly enough to see a lot!