After my friends, Emily, McKenzie and I had planned our trip Denmark and Sweden, I thought why not add on a couple of days and visit Paris, since I had never visited before, and every girl needs to visit Paris. I have to admit, I had never really been that drawn to Paris when I was a bit younger, always more intrigued by what would be more “exotic” in my mind. But in early fall of 2015, I was hit by the sudden urge to visit Paris, and somewhat last minute, changed my flights to add it on to my trip.
Paris did not disappoint, and it’s obvious why it is considered one of the greatest cities in the world. The white houses with blue roofs everywhere, the cheese, the wine, the little bakeries, and the Eiffel Tower always in sight, made Paris feel like a dream. The amazing thing about Paris is that it really does look like all of the cliché pictures; it really is not an overrated city.
During my first visit to Paris, I knew I needed to hit all of the biggest highlights with only a few days, so Emily and I put our minds to it, and came up with the perfect itinerary to get us into all of the highlights in 3 days. One day, I hope to return to Paris, and experienced a more relaxed trip, without having to run from site to site.
Mmmmm. The food was to die for. From cheese, to onion soup, to macaroons, everything was so amazing.
we ate at Le Procope for dinner on our last night. It was first opened in 1686 and is the oldest running cafe in Paris. It was famously visited by many literary greats, such as Voltaire, Rousseau, Beaumarchais, Balzac, Verlaine and Hugo. Even Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson has visited. It in some ways reminded me of Fraunces Tavern. While we were there I had the French Onion Soup and Coq au Vin.
We also visited Ladurée, since it is obviously a must in Paris:
And then, of course, I photographed lots of other food we saw and ate.
The Eiffel Tower
The Eiffel Tower was originally built as the entrance to the 1889 World’s Fair. It was considered very ugly at the time it was built, but now is, of course, one of the most iconic structures in the world. Every hour on the hour, the tower sparkles for 5 minutes. The lights were originally installed in 2000, and it took 5 months to install all 20,000 lights.
Notre Dame and Saint Chapelle
While Notre Dame is one of the most visited spots in Paris, Saint Chapelle is slightly less visited. Saint Chapelle is well worth a visit to see the amazing stain glass interior.
Visiting the Louvre, we hit the highlights Venus De Milo, The Winged Victory, and the Mona Lisa, which was mobbed.
We also saw one of my favorite sculptures, Cupid and Psyche. It’s one of my favorites because of the Roman legend behind the sculpture. It is one of the few myths with a happy ending. The sculpture captures the moment of when Cupid saves Psyche from an almost eternal sleep. What I found so interesting about the statue is the detail on a 360 degree view. If you travel around to the back side of the statue you see Cupid’s arrows, which according to legend he used to wake her, and a vase, which Psyche was carrying from the under world to Venus in an attempt to win her approval so that she may be with Cupid.
Arc de Triumphe
The Arc de Triumphe was built to honor those who died in the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars. All visitors should take the time to climb to the top for amazing panoramic views of Paris.
Versailles was definitely one of my top favorite experiences in Paris and that’s because there is so much to do! The interior is obviously amazing and all that with the hall of mirrors, but the real treasure is the garden. it is so expansive with so many nooks and crannies to get lost in. While the hall of mirrors was crowded af, we found solitude in the gardens.
What really was my favorite part of visiting Versailles was Marie Antoinette’s estate and the Queen’s Hamlet. Essentially, Marie Antoinette had a fake farm built for her to dress up and play as a milkmaid with her friends. It did not earn her points with the commoners of France. You can read my full post on that here.
One of the final stops on our whirlwind tour of Paris was the Palais Garnier. The Palais Garner was built by the famous architect, Charles Garner (obviously) in 1865. It is probably the most famous opera house in the world, and became the setting for the Phantom of the Opera. You can even peak into the booth that was supposedly always reserved for “the opera ghost.” Interestingly, several accurate facts were used as inspiration for the Phantom of the Opera book, such as, the opera house was built on a subterranean lake. In May 1896, one of the counterweights for the chandelier broke through the ceiling and came crashing down, killing an audience member. This event was used as inspiration for the famous scene in the book as the chandelier’s crash.
Emily and I did the self guided audio tour, which actually turned out to be very interesting; I would definitely recommend it.
Out and About
And here are some other pictures of no place in particular.