Monday, 15 September 2014

Paris- Seeing The Sights!

Hi guys! I just got back from Paris on Tuesday and I had an absolute blast! Sorry that this post is only up today, I needed a day or two to get back to myself and its been a busy week as it is. If you read my Planning Paris post, you'll know what I wanted to see and how I planned out my trip and what I wanted to see. I didn't get around to La Geode and Pere Lachaise cemetery, but I saw Bastille (by accident but I still saw it :D) and Luxembourg Gardens! I had such a lovely time! :)

Day 1: On my first full day there, I set out to see Notre Dame, Musee de L'Armee and the Eiffel Tower. I've been obsessed with seeing Notre Dame since I was seven or eight and it was the number one thing I had to see, and when I saw it -For lack of a better phrase- I lost my shit! It went beyond my expectations and it is, without a doubt, the most beautiful place I have ever been. The 40ft rose window, the flying buttress's the gargoyles, it took my breath away, I queued for ages to go inside and it was so worth it. It is stunningly beautiful inside. No matter how many times I took photos of Notre Dame, it will never show how beautiful the place is, in comparison to it in the flesh. The bell sounded lovely too. It's most breathtaking at night and lies on the Seine, just wow. <3 Best of all, I got to see it every single day because I used it as a starting point to explore the city. After Notre Dame, I set off to see the Eiffel Tower and Musee L'Armee, which was easy as they were less than a five minute walk from each other. To be honest, I had it in my head that it wouldn't matter if I saw the Eiffel Tower or not. I could take it or leave it. I went because it was 5 minutes away from Musee L'Armee. Eiffel Tower was touristy and underwhelming, especially if you romanticised it in your mind. It's a bit of a travesty and quite ugly, honestly. It's quite nice as part of a landscape though. Musee de L'Armee was fantastic! It served as a hospital and retirement home for war veterans, but now it's home to weaponry, artillery, armor and holds the tomb of Napoleon Bonaparte, which was amazing to see! 

Day 2: The second day I was there, I set off for Concorde, Champs-Elysses and Arc De Triomphe. It was so handy to see all of these places because they are very close to each other and you basically just follow one road from Concorde to Champs-Elysses and Arc De Triomphe. As a history nerd, I had to see Concorde as it is where Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette was beheaded. Concorde is a beautiful place filled with luxurious, extravagant fountains, it's a must see in Paris! Champs-Elysses is one of the most expensive streets in the world and looks every part of it, with shops like Cartier, Mac, Tiffany & Co, and Louis Vuitton. I made a stop into the Mac shop and popped my Mac cherry and the Disney store there is nothing short of magical. If you wanted to do some serious shopping in Paris, I wouldn't recommend Champs-Elysses unless you had €1'000 upwards with you. However, it's interesting to go to see how the French do retail therapy and fashion, which is bloody brilliant, I must say. At the end of Champs-Elysses, there is the gorgeous Arc De Triomphe that celebrates those that fought in the French Revolution and the Napoleonic wars, when Napoleon Bonaparte promised his men that they would walk under the arches of triumph, this is said Arc. It is massive, beautiful and an icon. This day was definitely my favourite day out of my trip! 

Day 3: My third day there was my least favourite, I got quite homesick. I went to see Sacre Coeur and chilled out at Luxembourg Gardens. Going up to Sacre Coeur, I was so surprised about how rough and dangerous the area was. Sacre Coeur is near Gare Du Nord, the train that takes you all over Europe and it was dangerous, and this was during the day. I had my bag eyed a couple of times and had a French man purr at me, say stuff I didn't understand and followed me a bit. I had a vice grip on my bag the entire time. When I got to Sacre Coeur, I thought it was stunning and it gave great views of the city. However, I'm not sure it was worth the uneasy way there, but I am glad I got to go, considering that I was planning to go back more than once. I got the RATP bus back to Luxembourg and got some food, explored the gardens and chilled out to some music. It was such a nice place to relax after a day that didn't go so well to begin with.

Day four: On Sunday, I headed to the Louvre. The thing to keep in mind before heading to the Louvre is know what you want to see before you get there. The Louvre is massive. You could walk it for a month and still not see everything it has to offer. I planned to see the ancient Egyptian, Roman and Greek section, especially Venus De Milo. My favourite pieces were the ancient Egyptian tablets with hieroglyphics on them, Venus De Milo, Wedding at Cana, John the Baptist and Aphrodite. Jaconde (Mona Lisa) was a let down. I only got a quick glance at her as she is safe guarded behind glass and I didn't get as close up to her as I would have liked. After the Louvre, I decided to chill out on the grassy banks of the Seine as it was such a nice day. I relaxed there listening to Metallica for a long time, taking in my beautiful surroundings.
John the Baptist
Wedding at Cana
David and Goliath
Ancient Egyptian tablet
Venus De Milo

Day five: At the last moment before heading to Paris, I decided to pay a visit to Centre Georges Pompidou, and I am so glad I did! Out of all the things I did in Paris, this was definitely one of my favourites! The Pompidou centre has a post modern and high tech design, which fits in so well with the art and sculptures they have here. Like the Louvre, it's huge, but not as big. You still have to know what you want to see here. I planned to see works by Dali, Picasso, Matisse, Lichtenstein and Warhol. I saw some beautiful pieces by those artists, however, I could not find any work by Lichtenstein or Warhol anywhere! Which was so disappointing. However, I discovered a few new artists I loved, like Marc Chagall. I also fell in love with the painting L'Adoration Du Veau. Pompidou offers some of the best views of Paris from the very top, with was brilliant to see! After Pompidou, I took a slight detour (technically I got myself lost) and ended up seeing something I didn't plan on seeing. Place de la Bastille, but I'm so glad I got to see it! (having abysmal sense of direction sometimes pays off) Bastille is the square that used to be the site of Bastille prison until its destruction in 1790. The July Column in the centre commemorates the revolution of 1830.

And that is my trip to Paris! There will be a part two to this blog, I also want to get onto the overall experience on my first trip abroad solo on a more personal level, this blog was just more so on what I saw and what I did. So keep an eye out for that this week! All in all, it was a fantastic trip and an amazing experience! My favourite parts of the trip was seeing Notre Dame every day, its beauty and ability to take your breath away never, ever got old. The Pompidou centre and the day I spent on Champs-Elysses were my favourite days of the whole trip. My least part of the trip was making the journey to Sacre Coeur and feeling homesick. I'll explain in better detail in the next part of this blog. I hope you all like this post and found it somewhat useful if you're planning a getaway to the City of Lights! 
Thank you all for reading, 
Stay fab xo
Kim. :)


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