Bonjour everyone! I am safely back in Seville after spending a couple days in the beautiful city of Paris this past weekend! Like all my trips, I had the most amazing time!! Paris was everything I expected it to be, and much more. I understand why artists and writers live in Paris, or why great romances begin there…it is an incredible city, each street as beautiful as the next one! I think I will do two posts about Paris, describing my two adventurous days!
We arrived in Paris late on Friday, exhausted as usual after a long day of travel. Although we could have ventured out, we decided to go to bed early so we would be refreshed for a busy day of touring around! Our hostel (St. Christopher’s Inn, on the Canal) recommended to us a free walking tour of Paris, called Sandeman’s New Paris Free Tour. They are unpaid tour guides and work off of tips! Our guide was very informative, interesting and funny!
We met our guide at 11:00am and begin walking all over the city, listening to the history behind the buildings in Paris and the country of France! Although it actually rained while on our tour, the sun came out a little later, making Saturday an incredible day! (I unfortunately did not take many pictures while it was raining!)
A view of the Seine River before the storm! (Even a rainy day in Paris is still beautiful!)
The sun came out in time to visit the incredible “Lock Bridge”. This is where lovers of all ages, from all around the world, write their names on a lock, clip it to the chained fence of the bridge and toss the key into the river! I think the concept of this bridge is great, it is literally FILLED with love… we can always use more love in this world!!
On one side of the Lock Bridge, there is this beautiful building, where very educated people in France determine the rules and words of the French language! (For example, our tour guide explained that it took them 5 months to decide if the iPod would be masculine or feminine! It’s now officially a masculine noun, in case you were wondering.)
The opposite side of the bridge is part of the Louvre! We quickly moved through the large area of the museums and to some beautiful gardens!
Our tour ended around these gardens between the Louvre and the Arc de Triomphe (which can be seen in the distance).
Beyond these gardens is the “Place de la Concorde”, one of Paris’ largest squares…also known for being the location of many executions after the Revolution in France. Our tour guide said there was so much blood spilt in this square, that even 10 years later, when kids would jump on loose stones, blood would seep up from the ground! (You know how the French loved the guillotine.)
After our walking tour ended, Kayla and I headed back through the gardens to the Louvre!
Lucky for us, since we are students, our admission was free!! But beware, if you plan to do the Louvre, do not expect to see everything!! It might honestly be impossible!! It is such a massive museum, I was in awe! Our tour guide told us that if you were to spend 10 seconds looking at every piece of art in the museum, it would take you over 3 MONTHS to see it all!!!
We spent a little over 2 hours in the museum and was only able to visit 4 sections: Roman, Greek, Egyptian and Renaissance. Lucky for us, we were able to see two of the most famous pieces of work in the museum!!
The Venus de Milo! (Famous statue from Ancient Greece of the Goddess Aphrodite of Milos)
And of course, Leonardo Da Vinci’s famous “Mona Lisa”. The picture quality is poor because the painting is actually behind two glass sheets (one that protects the painting against flash, and the other that’s bullet proof…not sure why someone would shoot a painting, but better safe than sorry!)
Although it was incredible to see this Renaissance painting, it’s definitely not what you expect! For starters, it is very small!! And everyone crowds around it so it’s hard to get a really good view!
Something that truly puzzled me, was the fact that the Mona Lisa is in this room, with a crowd of people surrounding it…and on the opposite wall was this massive painting of the Last Supper.
It literally covers the entire wall opposite the Mona Lisa! This is also an amazing piece of art work but is brushed to the side by a tiny painting of one ambiguous woman. I must say however, the only very cool thing about the Mona Lisa, is the fact that no matter where you stand in the room, it always looks like she is looking at you!! Kind of crazy!
I highly recommend visiting the Louvre if you are in Paris. It is one of the most incredible museums I have been in, and as a nerd who enjoys history and art, it’s a great place to wander around for hours! I have to admit that Kayla and I got lost trying to find the exit!!
But we eventually made it out!!
After a very long day, we slowly made our way back to the hostel. Before catching the metro, I got a crepe for a snack!! (I mean, hey, when in France?! It was so delicious)
After resting up at the hostel, we decided to get dinner and drinks before catching the infamous Eiffel Tower light show! For those who don’t know, the Eiffel Tower lights up every hour, on the hour for about 5 minutes! We were unsure of where to watch the show from, but our friend recommended getting off at metro stop Trocaderno! At first we were unsure where the Eiffel Tower was, until we turned a corner and saw this incredible view!!
After waiting a couple minutes, 10:00pm rolled around and the Eiffel Tower began to sparkle! I’m not kidding, the tower actually glitters!! It is one of the most amazing things I have ever seen!!
I understand now why Paris is called the City of Love. xoxo