Memories of Paris
Travel. An almost unimaginable concept right now. But even so, the travel bug in me refuses to give up. Lately I find myself going through old photos of our previous travels. I also spend late nights staring at my computer screen, searching for inspiration through the adventures of other travelers. Hoping and wishing that the world will go back to normal soon. However! In the meantime, I imagined this post as a way of fueling my wanderlust by sharing some of our memories of Paris. And perhaps in a future post – some of our other previous travel adventures 😊.
Paris is always a good idea.Audrey Hepburn
WALKING THE STREETS OF PARIS
Audrey Hepburn was right when she said, “Paris is always a good idea.” It was one of my top places to visit in the world and a city that would take a lifetime to fully explore.
We have visited the city on two occasions. Our first trip in 2015 and again in 2018. Both visits were filled with exploring the streets, seeing many architectural and historical sites, museums and even Disneyland.
Just when you think you’ve seen everything the city has to offer, you find new attractions or new places to explore.
Being an art history student at the time, seeing the beautiful Parisian buildings was absolutely dreamy to me! I loved the architecture, the beautiful residential buildings, as well as the grand historical ones. Everything seemed so elegant and beautifully designed.
Walking was my favourite way to get around. Walking down the famous Champs-Élysées Boulevard, Place de la Concorde to see the Luxor Obelisk (Egyptian obelisks) and through the beautiful Jardin des Tuileries was all a dream come true. I remember enjoying gelato at the park and taking life slow, if only just for a moment, like the local Parisians on the park benches.
We did get lost trying to get to the Eiffel Tower. Do not be fooled, just because you see the Eiffel Tower from a distance it doesn’t mean its close by. Once you start walking through the streets it is very easy to get going into the wrong direction. Yep this happened to us 🤣! An old lady sitting on a bench pointed us in the wrong direction which made our walk even longer.
MUSEE DU LOUVRE
The Louvre Museum … wow! The Louvre tells so many stories. From the irreplaceable artwork it is home to, to the building itself – you’ll feel as though you are as close to touching history as humanly possible. The museum contains more than 380,000 objects and displays 35,000 works of art in eight massive curatorial departments.
The most famous of art works include the armless statue of Venus de Milo, the Mona Lisa, and the French national treasure Liberty Leading the People (La liberté guidant le peuple), by Eugène Delacroix. There’s something incredibly special about seeing these framed creations up close and in person.
If you ever visit the Louvre, take the time to actually see the Mona Lisa, and not just take a selfie and walk away. The Louvre is a place that needs at least a two day visit. We were not aware of this at the time but would highly recommend visiting it in two parts. Seeing it all at once can be exhausting! There is just so much to see.
NOTRE-DAME de PARIS
Notre Dame. It is one of the most iconic churches in the world. Not only that, but this beautiful cathedral is 673 years old. Its beginnings took place more than 850 years ago, in the heart of a much smaller Paris. In the French language, Notre Dame translates to Our Lady. This apparently is a direct reference to the Virgin Mary in the Bible. What an amazing piece of culture and history!
During our visit to Paris, we had to take a taxi in order to see the amazing church before sun set. Unfortunately we could not go inside, but that did not stop us from sitting at the near by benches and admiring the grand architecture. The doors of this church are decorated in beautiful detail. It is very difficult to walk through Paris and not take note of the design of Notre Dame’s outstanding towers, stained glass, and spires. We also explored the surrounding areas of the church. This is where we came across the cutest art shop where I purchased a print of the Champs-Élysées Boulevard. I still have that print 😊.
Oh and I shouldn’t forget to mention the Eiffel Tower. It was after all designed to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the French Revolution and to show off France’s industrial might. The Tower stands 324 meters tall, and is one of the most recognizable monuments in the world. It is pretty hard to miss if you ask me!
We visited this grand lady on both of our visits! It is after all the most iconic piece of Paris. Some even call it the Iron Lady. The top of the Eiffel Tower is accessible with a purchase of a roof-top access ticket. I am sure for most people it is entirely worth it. But for those like me who have no love for height related activities it is a hard miss! Even then – it’s only when you’re standing under the Eiffel Tower that you truly understand it’s sheer magnitude.
We could not leave Paris without witnessing the sparkling lights of this iconic monument at night! It’s jaw-dropping to see. If you love Paris, you’ll have a special moment when seeing the beautiful tower sparkle in the night. An evening walk down the Seine River to the Eiffel Tower and seeing all of its sparks come to life is always a good idea😊.
One of the big perks of coming to Paris was that we were able to visit another big bucket list item – Disneyland Paris! Who could ever forget visiting Disneyland in Paris. This was in literal terms, a magical adventure. For both of us, it was the very first Disneyland trip we went to and it was spectacular!
We explored almost every corner of that place. It was very easy to stay there all day and explore. In fact, we did not get back to our hotel until night time. Even for adults, Disneyland is a big reminder of what it is like to be a kid. Oh and if you ever visit Disneyland, don’t forget to grab yourself a souvenir. I still have my key chain to remind me of those memories.
PALACE OF VERSAILLES
Versailles is on everyone’s itinerary when they travel to Paris, so you may be a little surprised it took a second trip in 2018 for us to actually make it there. I just knew I had to go back and see Versailles as the main event.
The Versailles Palace holds way too much history to cover in just one post. But – seeing the Versailles in my art history lectures was one thing. Seeing it in real life was … grand … mind blowing! It is the most extravagant palace I have ever seen.
With the Hall of Mirrors, Grand Chandeliers, Kings Apartments, and the most beautiful gardens in Paris, this requires an entire day of exploring on its own.
Walking through the rooms of the palace and gazing up at the overwhelmingly stunning Hall of Mirrors was like being in a dream. I can remember my first time seeing this and I couldn’t contain my excitement. You dream of palaces and can’t truly imagine what they are like until you’re inside.
This one is straight out of a story book. Not only is it architecturally beautiful, there are rooms that are still furnished in every color imaginable and art that stands the test of time.
And the gardens…. It was like a wonderland! So wonderfully maintained and impossible to see all by foot in just one day.
I could only imagine what it would have been like to live in those times when this grandeur was at its height. I can also only imagine the amount of labor it took to make this palace become a reality … and then to maintain it.
At Versailles you can hire a golf cart to get around and that is exactly what we did. We took off and drove down to the Mistresses Apartments. You would never imagine how far away Madame Pompadour had her apartments. It was a good ten min drive with the golf carts. But the scenery is wonderful.
Versailles is like a city of its own. Apart from the palace I visited in Vienna, there is no other place like it.
Les Galeries LaFayette shopping mall is worth the visit even just to window shop! Although we didn’t do any shopping there, we did enjoy brunch at the cafe. Yes we also tasted some macarons and admired the wonderful architecture which no other mall in the world has.
This is also where you go to get another amazing view of Paris from its roof top. We made sure to take our snapshot of this wonderful view of the city 💗.
I will never forget our time in Paris. It is the city of love, one of the most famous cities in Europe and most visited worldwide. Our memories of Paris will always stick with me. As the writer Hans Christian Andersen once said, “To travel is to live.”
Have you visited Paris before?
Have you been to Paris? Jot down some of your memories below! You can also find me over on Instagram with any stories you want to share.