After having shared my experience of preparing for the Euro trip, I would now share my experiences of the cities I visited. The first destination was the world renowned tourist attraction Paris.
Personally, I did not want to fall for the usual glittery, celebrated places and locations in the city and miss out on some of the other less popular gems. Paris has a lot to offer, especially if you are even a tiny bit interested in the history and evolution of the city. So me and my friends did a fair bit of research and penned down our priorities regarding the places we would visit. The duration of our stay was four days, which I tought was reasonable for exploring a new city, but of course in such a time span you just scratch the surface and would always miss out on one thing or the other.
The endeavour kicked off with visiting the Arc de Triomphe. It is a famous monument dedicated to the soldiers who lost their lives serving France during the French Revolutionary wars and the Napoleonic wars after that. The detail in the structure is breath-taking, with names of many soldiers and generals inscribed on the inside and the outside walls. You can visit the roof top for free if you are under 26 years of age or buy a ticket for five Euros if you are not. Unfortunately there is no elevator, so it is a long way up with the stairs and bit of a stretch for lazy ones like me. But it’s definitely worth it since apart from the majestic view of the city , you will also find a souvenir shop at the top.
This was followed by the much anticipated visit to the stalwart itself, Eiffel Tower. The tower and its surroundings, I thought live up to the fame and hype it enjoys. Although, as you walk towards it, the steel structure dose not get the imagination going on the first glance. But as you settle down in the scenic lawns next to it and take a moment to calm down and sense the romanticism and serenity that place radiates, you would definitely enjoy your visit. You can take the stairs or the elevator up the Eiffel tower by buying a cheap ticket, but since the queue was long and the ticket counters crowded we skipped this part.
Then we proceeded to the other must see destination in Paris, the Louvre Museum. The museum is huge and impossible to cover in a single visit. It has been smartly divided into three wings, with each one catering for a specific type of area, civilisation or culture. When you entre via the glass pyramid into the museum itself, you get a pamphlet with a layout of the area. The pamphlet also lists the famous attractions the museums houses like the Mona Lisa and their exact locations within the building. I tought it was a brilliant way to save time and energy of the visitors and enhance their experience of the Louvre.
To see and enjoy the city more closely, we preferred to walk most of the time. The Metro system is extensive and punctual, but walking enhanced the richness of my experience many folds. From the refreshing flower shops by the road to the annoying city traffic, you get to feel every bit of the city. So for first time visitors I would definitely recommend a stroll through the streets of Paris.
We then moved on to one of the most unique and well known church buildings in the world the Norte Dame Cathedral. The church building is laced with some amazing stained glass and inspiring structural elements. The facade contains numerous skilfully crafted statues and other minute details that give the entire building a humungous and historic feel. Inside the church you could see a timeline, that depicts the progressive changes in the church design over the years and the structural significance of each change or addition in the building design.
A single article cannot do justice to the magnificence of the city of Paris. We also visited the Pantheon (houses the grave of the famous scentist Marie Curie) , Les Invalides (Millatary Museum and the chapel next to it has the grave of Napolean I), Place de la Concorde and Sacré-Coeur . I have added some pictures of these locations for the readers to enjoy !