Monday, September 1, 2014

Paris, France

The view that always takes my breath away

It has been around 5 years since my last stay in Paris, and I couldn't have been happier to go back. My first trip was in the middle of March, which means that both the weather and flowers weren't as desirable as the end of August. Scattered throughout the past week, my sister and I were able to hit up every last monument, museum and church on our list of must-sees. For our first two days we were lucky enough to have my amazing friend Sibylle show us around and help us navigate the winding web of Paris' Metro. Read on to see some of my most favourite places to visit in this gorgeous, twinkling city.

Top: Luxembourg Gardens, Arc de Triomphe. Bottom: Sacre Coeur Basilica, Notre Dame Cathedral 

The Luxembourg gardens were absolutely beautiful when we visited at around 7pm. With the more subdued sunlight, the colours of the flowers were fresh and striking against the perfectly manicured green grass. What a fabulous place to kick back in a chair and read a book. 

The Arc de Triomphe, in the centre of the "Charles de Gaulle Étoile" is the perfect end (literally) after a walk down the Champs Elysées. There was an amazing drummer performing in the square, which made sitting down for a people-watching break much more fun. 

Our walk up to the Sacre Coeur Basilica was slightly tedious since we got caught in a small rain storm. My Uniqlo rain jacket was a real godsend at that point as it literally repels water and weighs next to nothing. But visiting both the basilica and cathedral were very special experiences, both for the incredible detail and well preserved interior. I always appreciate the serenity of sitting down and spending a few moments of silent thought in such a sacred space.



And my favourite monument, of course, is the highly acclaimed Eiffel Tower. The weather completely cleared up right as we arrived to the Trocadero area, where we were able to relax in the sun and enjoy lunch in the park. I could have stayed there all day!

Luxembourg Gardens, Palais Garnier Opera, Musée d'Orsay

There is so much to see in Paris, and I'm very happy that we decided to tour around the Palais Garnier Opera, Musée d'Orsay and the Louvre. We got the high-tech Nintendo DS audio guide for the Louvre, which included an interactive GPS map and various 3D photos of the more notable pieces. I listened in French, which forced me to remain that much more attentive in each gallery. Surely an experience to remember. 


Oh, the patisseries, how I marvel at you. I could never get used to these delicious desserts, and how they mix perfectly with a fresh cafe au lait. I'm sure my jeans couldn't get used to the croissant-a-day lifestyle either. I'll be leaving that to the French. 


Our adventures have now taken us elsewhere in Europe, and I'm really looking forward to documenting some great cities. À bientôt, Paris!
xx
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