Visiting Paris has always been a dream of mine. I took three years of French in high school, and 11 credits in college. I thought that maybe if I learned enough French, it would be a good enough excuse to HAVE to visit. Sound enough theory, right? After a couple of days in London, and a few days in Scotland, my mom and I were finally able to head to Paris. I enjoyed every bit of my time in Paris. When asked what my favorite things to see or do in Paris, my response is “just being in Paris.” There wasn’t anything I saw, did or ate in Paris, that I didn’t enjoy. I was fortunate to receive a free Paris Museum Pass, which covered most of my explorations. I have decided that this is THE way to go when visiting because it covers so many sites!
We stayed a the Hotel Turenne, which was lovely, had very friendly staff, and was conveniently located a short walk from the Eiffel Tower. Our first evening in Paris was spent walking past cute bistros and awaiting the lighting of the tower. I had no idea the lighting was such a big deal. I caught a bit of it on video here. Who knew the Eiffel Tower lights twinkled before staying on for the night? Such a treat, and the weather was perfect for it. The park was filled with men who were walking around selling wine and keychains. Ideal setting for any couple really.
The famous Louvre was a must-see for us, and luckily the museum pass covered this. I think we could spend weeks in The Louvre and not see it all. We settled for a couple of hours and saw some of our favorites. I just had to take a panoramic picture of The Louvre because it is HUGE (click to get a good feel for the layout). Being here and taking it all in was something special.
The Mona Lisa is much smaller than I imagined, but I thought it would be fun to snap a picture of all of the visitors who were eagerly capturing her. Statues and works of art from centuries ago, were so fun to see. I personally loved the men whose faces were made of fruit.
After leaving the Louvre, it was just a short walk to Musee d’Orsay. Such a beautiful walk too! I loved taking in the River Seine, and was tickled that I got to see the Love Lock Bridge, which is famous in some movies. Some day I shall return with a new love and lock – if the locks haven’t all been removed by then. They say the bridge is too weighed down by the locks, so there is talk of removing them.
One of my favorite stops with my Museum Pass was to the Arc de Triomphe. Before my visit, I didn’t know there were stairs (284 steps to be exact) that climbed to the top. We climbed every single one, in a spiraled staircase. We were exhausted by the time we got to the top, but it was well worth the climb. The view from the Arc de Triomphe is spectacular. You can see everything, from the Eiffel Tower to Sacra Coeur (the highest point in Paris), the many streets that all lead to this centerpoint of the city – in such a orderly and beautiful fashion, and much more. We tried to stick around until sunset, and came pretty close.
Some of the other things we got to see while in Paris were Notre Dame, Le Pouce (the giant thumb we didn’t even know existed), the Grande Arche de la Defense, Sacre Coeur and Moulin Rouge. My mom headed out one evening and snuck in a few more museum visits without me too. I’ve got to say, the shopping in old Paris was incredible. Just walking through neighborhoods and shops we found some of the cutest boutique type stores. There I picked up a scarf for Leanne and Miss Bea, and some other fun trinkets. My mom got the most fun handbag too! Old Paris is where we got to see Sacre Coeur and Moulin Rouge. The two are not right next to each other, and it’s a good thing too because Moulin Rouge is in a risque part of town. TONS and TONS of X-Rated shops and shows. Moulin Rouge is one of my favorite movies though, so I just had to see it!
I am eagerly awaiting my next visit to Paris. There is so much more to see and eat! The pastries are like no other. Mmmm – oh how I miss thee Paris!