The City of Light

Paris Travel Blog

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Me in front of Notre Dame cathedral.
Almost two months ago, I took a trip that I have done so many times before. With one of my best girlfriends in tow, we tackled the famous City of Light, making sure to see as many sights as possible, experience all the city had to offer and leave wanting more. And we did.

I had not planned on writing an entry about Paris because I thought, "Hey, I've already been there three times before! It doesn't really count." But today, after having looked at all our awesome photos, I decided that this was one of the best vacations I've ever had and it deserves an entry. Plus, I got to thinking, and I realized that it had been my laziness talking and not me.

The first two times I visited Paris were great �" the first was with my aunt when I visited her one summer between my freshman and sophomore years of high school, and the second time was with my parents during a family vacation to Europe.
I.M. Pei's pyramid at the entrance of the Louvre. I don't care what anyone says, I think it's beautiful.
Both of those trips were amazing, but traveling is so much more liberating when you do it on your own or with a good friend.

So, this time, my friend Kelly and I took the fast train from Germany to Paris. In no less than three hours we were sipping cappuccinos at a quaint little cafe by the Seine River with a view of the Eiffel Tower in the distance.

Paris really is a tourist's dream destination. With three days in Paris, Kelly and I only managed to crack the surface of all there was to see and do in Paris. Though I say constantly that I'm against what I call "shotgun tourism," in Paris, there is no other way when you're on a deadline. In three days Kelly and I visited Notre Dame cathedral, took a boat cruise on the Seine, visited and ascended the Eiffel Tower, saw and toured the Louvre, walked past the Place de la Concorde, toured Napoleon's Tomb and the Army museum, passed by the Arc de Triomphe, walked through a photography museum, and saw a bunch of other stuff that I don't even really remember what they were.
About to visit the Louvre.

But also during those three days we tried to do more than the normal "shotgun tourism." We tried focusing on the culture: we drank innumerable cups of cappuccino; we made an honest effort to see more than the Big 3 at the Louvre (Mona Lisa, Winged Victory and Venus de Milo); and we walked literally everywhere, refusing to take the Metro, so we could see all of Paris, not just the places outside Metro stations and in front of large tourist hotspots. Kelly and I found that the best part of Paris was getting lost, though it was a bitch on our feet.

On our last day, we took a stroll to find the photography museum, which, according to our trusty map, was only supposed to be about a mile or so away. But we still got lost. My feet were definitely screaming at me, but in the end, it was worth it.
Taking a water taxi to the Eiffel Tower.
We found so many cute shops, we ran into the Gay District, we found an awesome building that was created to look like it was inside-out and we had a great last lunch in Paris before heading off to the train station.

And more than a tourist's dream, Paris is also a food- and wine-lover's dream. Reinstating our old wine nights could not have been done better than in Paris. Though often times full, Kelly and I found ourselves eating just for the sake of eating. On our second night, Kelly and I walked down a shady-looking side street in the rain looking for a restaurant that was recommended by our guide book. Instead, we found a fancy little restaurant called Le Grand Colbert, which we later discovered was the restaurant featured in the movie "Something's Gotta Give" featuring Jack Nicholson, Diane Keaton and Keanu Reeves.
My favorite part of Paris
I have to say, it was the best dinner of the trip. The food was amazing �" we dined on escargot, perfectly cooked steak with a cream-pepper sauce and the best au gratin potatoes we've ever had in our entire lives. No joke. We also finished off a good two bottles of French red wine.

Come to think of it now, we drank a lot of wine. Paris has a lot of it!
vulindlela says:
It definitely is one of the worlds greatest cities!
Posted on: Nov 30, 2009
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Me in front of Notre Dame cathedra…
Me in front of Notre Dame cathedr…
I.M. Peis pyramid at the entrance…
I.M. Pei's pyramid at the entranc…
About to visit the Louvre.
About to visit the Louvre.
Taking a water taxi to the Eiffel …
Taking a water taxi to the Eiffel…
My favorite part of Paris
My favorite part of Paris
Its a loooooong way down.
It's a loooooong way down.
Me and my friend Kelly blending in…
Me and my friend Kelly blending i…
About to visit Napoleons Tomb and…
About to visit Napoleon's Tomb an…
I found my family name written on …
I found my family name written on…
The Venus de Milo inside the Louvr…
The Venus de Milo inside the Louv…
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photo by: Sweetski