Ah, Paris. Officially known as the City of Lights, but more than anything, I think it is the city of love. I don’t just mean amorous love, but that the city itself will steal your heart. I don’t understand anyone who says Paris is overrated. The city itself is visually beautiful, and the Haussmanization that occurred during the late 1800s has made the city incredibly navigable with some incredible sight lines. Paris used to be a typically medieval city with crowded, un-hygenic burrows with winding streets that made no sense. The city hired Georges-Eugene Haussmann to re-design the city into the modern and logical city that it is today by tearing down quite a few buildings to make the large boulevards and straight lines of Paris, including the Champs-Elysee. There are just so many things to see in Paris, and the above photos are from the Palace of Versailles which is quite simply the most opulent thing you’ll ever see in your life. It is the epitome of luxury and decadence that is just so unfathomable today that it’s an absolute must-see. When the common people stormed the gates during the Revolution, I can only imagine how infuriated they were to know that the aristocracy were living this way. There are sundry museums you can visit, the Louvre and the Musee d’Orsay being the two most famous ones. The Louvre is quite daunting as there is just so many pieces of art in there, but it is definitely worth going though I would recommend going at night since it is less crowded. While the Mona Lisa’s painting is quite small, if you can stare at her long enough, you can begin to understand why she remains so enigmatic and entrancing. Personally, I love the Impressionists so the Musee d’Orsay is my favourite. Despite having gone to Paris twice, I haven’t been able to go to the L’Orangerie to see Monet’s Lillies in their full effect yet. We took a bike tour of Paris, which I highly recommend as you get to learn a lot about the history of Paris, as well as seeing many of the sights not often on the big travel guides. Our guides were well informed and biking is very safe in Paris. Because it’s so flat, it’s actually quite ideal for biking and seeing a lot of Paris in a single day. In the 1920’s, many of the Modernist writers congregated to Paris, as depicted in Midnight in Paris. Perhaps it’s just because I’m an English Literature major, but I completely love Paris for its history and especially rich culture. The bakeries are also full of delicious goods at great prices so even if you can’t afford the luxurious foods of Paris, you can still enjoy their daily fare.
Of all the places we traveled, Paris is the only place where I can actually see myself living. It’s large enough to feel uncrowded even with all the tourists, and it’s absolutely resplendent in art. I also love the French language which I hope to learn someday when I have more time.
The last stop was London, so that will be the final post in my travel logs!