by Megan Menzel
Photos: M. Menzel
“Paris is full of sights and the wonderful smell of freshly made crepes”
Paris, often referred to as the City of Love, and Parisians often given a bad reputation, is actually quite different from what we expect. In the movies it is portrayed as something romantic though I wonder now if that is overly exaggerated. Parisians, as well often times portrayed as rude, are actually quite interested in foreigners and where they are from. These are two big lessons I learned while in Paris. But what about the sites that we often see on television? I would say they are beautiful.
Our weekend in that lovely city was met with on and off rain showers and ended in just rain, but the time we had there we enjoyed greatly. Our first day we began with the Louvre Museum, that museum where EVERYONE goes to to see the famous Mona Lisa as well as the glass pyramid that covers it. We got there early, around 10 am, which was a good thing; we left two hours later and a huge line had formed outside waiting to get in. We saw many different works of art and historic pieces of archeological history from around the world. From there we walked the Champs-Élysées through beautiful gardens up to the Arc de Triomphe. Lets just say the walk was longer than it looked but well worth it.
After seeing the Arc de Triomphe we had a simple light lunch and continued onto the Eiffel Tower. We sat along the river Seine a bit and rested under the tower until we braved the long lines and went to the top. It was quite a beautiful view from 280 meters up high. It was so high that as the elevator went up you could feel your ears pop.
That night we walked a bit down our street from our hostel and stumbled on Moulin Rouge. Outside were groups of young tourists posing with it in the background, as we grew up with the film based on the same name.
The next day we got another early start and headed off to see the Notre Dame. It is a beautiful church both inside and out. After this we walked to the Pantheon and saw the historic memories that built Paris. From the Pantheon we headed over to the Luxembourg Palace, which had large gardens and ponds. It was fun to watch the people racing boats in the ponds. After this we just continued to explore the city until we tired ourselves out and went back to the hostel for the night.
On our last day we took the train to Versailles. We waited in the line to visit both the Palace and the Garden, it was quite the wait, but well worth it in the end. The palace itself was a magnificent large building with gold trimming and historic views into the life of those that had lived there. But the Garden was where it was at, with stunning views and different areas of the garden to visit we had a wonderful day. Following our visit we had lunch and as we finished a full-bodied downpour began.
The trip to Paris was wonderful and fun. It is a definite must see for those who have the opportunity to be in Europe. It is full of sights and the wonderful smell of freshly made crepes. Paris should be on your to see list.
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