Friday, January 2, 2009

Paris 5: I'll Give You the Moon

The plan today was to walk from the Latin Quarter of Paris to Champs-Elysees.

Notre Dame

Our first stop. It is by far the most beautiful cathedral I have ever visited. The cathedral is built in the Gothic style, and it is famous for its stained glass windows and gargoyles. I especially enjoyed walking around the cathedral and admiring its architecture from the outside. It was a beautiful sunny day. The cathedral is hidden behind trees, which add to its beauty and historical elusiveness.


A Gothic royal palace, which looks a lot like the Sleeping Beauty castle they have in Disney World. During the French Revolution the palace was used as a prison. Marie Antoinette was also imprisoned here. But the museum inside the palace didn't seem worth visiting, only contained photographs from that period.

Boulevard Saint-Michel

This part of Paris has a very beautiful Gothic library. It also has one of the best shops in Paris, which are not crowded with tourists. In my opinion, comparatively, the French do have better fashion sense. I have become a fan of the way the girls wear makeup here. Instead of myriad layers of eyeshadow, they are all about the eyeliner, which looks very pretty. And, the French men dress very nicely too (Oooh-lala). Now, that I have wasted your time with a little Fashion 101, let me tell you about this beautiful jewellery store I discovered here, called Anoki. They have the most unique earrings and necklaces I have seen. I am not into ostentatious jewellery. However, I like delicate one of a kind vintage accessories. And this store just had that.

Musee d'Orsay

In my opinion, is one of the best museums they have in Paris. The museum has an excellent collection of Impressionist art by Edgar Degas, Manet, Monet, Pisarro, Sisley and Renoir. And most importantly, there were paintings by Vincet Van Gogh. I have a poster of three of Van Gogh's paintings in my room, so being only a few inches away from the originals was a very fulfilling experience. This, including London's Tate Modern, is another museum I would definitely return to if I am in Europe again.

Tour Eiffel

We saved Eiffel for our last night in Paris. Eiffel is such a simple and yet intricate structure. Simple in the sense, unlike the rest of Imperial French architecture where buildings are adorned with Greek mythological sculptures, this symbol of modern Paris is composed of one solid element. In it's simplicity there is beauty. In spite of the cold, the view from the top was breathtaking.

Arc de Triomphe

It is a monument honouring those who lost their lives in the Napoleon war. To be honest, this structure is not that different from say Marble Arch, in London. But it was one of those places I guess you have to visit when you are in Paris; so we obliged.


The street looked beautiful at night, with the glittering lights, and the crowd. This is probably the one time in Paris, I didn't mind the crowd so much. In spite of it being 10(ish)PM, most of the shops were open. Including the dazzling Disney Store, and a few auto showrooms.

In London, I was impressed with the Audis I saw parked in the streets of Westminster. Reminded me of the Audi they had in Iron Man. But in France, most of the cars are compact, and hence more fuel efficient. I didn't get a chance to see any gas stations in Paris, but the gas prices in London were very high. This is because the European governments put a much higher tax burden on oil than the US and Canadian governments. Plus, considering the impressive parallel parking stunts they pull here, I would prefer a small gas efficient car over a luxurious vehicle any day. In this economy who has the money to buy an expensive car! But I have to admit they are not bad to look at.

Concorde Metro Station

There is a monument outside the station that marks the place where Marie Antoinette was publicly humiliated and hung. There is also a fountain here that pays homage to the innocent lives lost during the French Revolution.

At this point before entering the station to go to our apartment, I, embarrassingly enough, turned around to take the Eiffel in for one last time, and look at the beautiful Parisian moon, for one last time. God knows, when I would be back here again...