There are some cities that most people would like to go at least once in a lifetime. I believe that Paris is one of those cities – just to step in there makes anyone emotional. I was, definitely, incredibly happy to be there, my only thought was: “I’m in Paris!”
It’s so many things to do and to see that a traveler must program the visit in advance. My recommendation is to stay for at least seven days. With one week you don’t need to rush. Time is something that you need – for example, just in Louvre or Versalles you can spend a full day.
I was traveling with my aunt, Ligia Stoterau. She decided to stay just five days. I didn’t complain because I am planning to go back to Paris anyway. So however she planned for me was fine. Big mistake! I was running five days to one side to the other. I got supper tired!! Although, I did so much in this incredible city. Come with me and enjoy as much as I did this five days in Paris.
Day one: Opera Theater, and Eiffel Tower
Arriving in Paris in the evening doesn’t allow you to do much that day. However, we did not want lose any second. So we went to the hotel, left our luggage, got a map and city information. The hotel was located close to Lafayet and the Opera theatre. Of course, we went there.
The Opera is an impressive building. The theatre was built between 1862 and 1875. It’s a typical Napoleon III architecture. From outside it has these huge steps that takes to the first floor. Enormous arches and columns full of marble divide the build. We just saw from outside (we didn’t had much time) but I know it’s incredible inside too.
Then we caught the metro to our second stop, Trocadero station.
Trocadero is an easy stop to the Eiffel Tower. Once there it was facile to find the tower. I just got out in the street and I saw the sign, “Eiffel Tower keep straight”. I followed the sign and when I turned right I saw this beautiful and huge tower in front of me. The Trocadero station is in a hill, so I look down, and I saw this pretty yard, with a fountain in the middle. Then it has a Senna River and the tower behind.
Walking through Eiffel Tower made me feel so emotional for being there! The sensation was some kind of happiness mixed with anxiety and excitement. When I look around I saw thousands of people taking pictures with a huge smile in their face. Everybody looks so happy!! Paris is a passionate city.
I took uncountable number of pictures. Aunt Ligia was asking me to stop taking picture. Unfortunately that was something that I was unable to do. It was a big line to get in – we waited for one hour and a half. At the time we got up it was night. However, the view was splendor. In the second floor of the tower I saw Paris with the lights on. It’s a gorgeous city!!
Day two: Monet Yard
To go to Monet yard we took a train to Vernon and a bus to Giverny – neighborhood that Monet lived for years. Vernon is located inside the Normandia area. Just to be close to Normandia beach was enough to make me happy!!
When we were waiting for the train I saw something wonderful. First I heard a piano music. But it was a strong noise, like some one was playing there. Then I follow the song and I saw inside the train station a piano and a girl playing. This amazed me. There was a piano to anyone sit and play. How beautiful is this strong support to music culture!?!
Back to Giverny..
Giverny is a typical French neighborhood, like those that we see at the movies. The chalet houses are covered with grass. The streets are narrow, but very charming. The landscape is agricultural, long lands and few houses. I believe that tourism is the main business in the region. Monet yard drive a lot of people there.
The yard is surrounded by long walls, from outside you can’t see inside, and it belongs to Monet landscape. The whole territory has 8.100 m². It’s divided in two sections. The fist is in the front of the house, called Clos Normand. The other part is a Japan yard with the famous lake. Monet planted around 1.800 different kinds of flowers: sunflowers, roses, apple trees, azaleas, raspberries, iris, tulips, lemon trees, hydrangeas, and dahlias, among other specimens.
When I was there I has thinking about all the pictures he made, his inspiration. When I walked through the Yard I could see what Monet saw when he felt in love with the place. After a little walk through the area I went to the Japan Yard. The lake is full of victoria regia (type of flower that live above water) and surrounded by trees. On the side of the lake there were trees with falling leaves touching the water. It gave me the impression of a leaves waterfall.
I believe that it’s a blessing to live in such beautiful place.
In this same day, at night, we drove ourselves to Pigalle area, close Monmatre. Our destiny was Moulin Rouge. The world’s most famous cabaret. The Moulin Rouge is a traditional cabaret that first opened doors in 1889, by the owner Josep Oller.
The theatre of Moulin Rouge is eloquent. Unfortunately the guests cannot take a picture inside.
When the curtains parted I saw a group of women, dressed with leaves on the rat, necklaces that reach their waist, tied in short skirt. The long, lean legs are covered with a thin sock, skin color. Breasts, usually small, are sample between the collars. The costume is elegant and rich. They were all very skinny women. Completing the choreograph are some men, they all very handsome: tall, brunette or blonde, long body, usually blue eyes, and great smile. They all danced very well. The figurine and the choreograph changed during the show, each one more astonishing than the other.
There is no story like in a theatre, it’s all about dancing, figurine and bodies. It also has some great gymnastics doing things that people couldn’t normally do.
I was waiting all the time for the cancan. At the end it came. It was a not traditional cancan, but I like it a lot!!
We were seated right behind the stage. With our tickets was included a bottle of champagne. It was original champagne from the region of champagne – which made me happier!!! It tasted fabulous!! With this bottle I enjoyed even more the show!!
I would say that Moulin Rouge it’s worth every penny, however I would never go with my boyfriend. It’s a cabaret for God’s sake!
Day Three: Notre Dame, Louvre, and Montmartre
My aunt hired a tourist agency through the internet. The agency was expensive and it offers a terrible service. However we didn’t know until we used the service. Our guide didn’t know much of the arts inside Notre Dame, but I was with my guidebook, so I didn’t miss much. However she should know the history of the church. My advice is: be careful when you hire a tourism agency through the internet.
We started the day at Notre Dame. The Churchill was built between 1163 and 1345. It’s an incredible construction – the facade is divided in three parts. Two towers and in the middle is the statue of the Virgin Mary, with Adam and Eve. In the horizontal part is located the gallery of the kings, with twenty-eight states that represents the Kings of Israel and Judah. Inside the proportions are impressive, with 130 meters long, 35 high and 50 wide. The chapels are filled with works of art from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, with paintings of Le Brun. I needed some time to contemplate all the beauty of this centenary work.
After enjoying Notre Dame we went to Louvre. This was the moment I was waiting for. However our guide just saved two hours for us to visit the Louvre. I got upset about this short time..
The museum is magnific. The building is impressive too. The edifice was made to military purpose, then it became a castle and today, a museum. It’s a square with a yard in the front and the crystal pyramid in the back. The pyramid is the entrance of the museum.
Inside we went to the Roman and Greek sections. First I saw a Nike statue. Nike is the goddess of water. Then I saw Michelangelo and Da Vince arts – including Mona Lisa. It was very exciting to see these pictures. We didn’t have much time left, so we rushed to see Venus, the goddess of love. Venus is men and women at the same time. When close I could see the female side and far the male part. It’s interesting and fascinating!!
After Louvre we went to Montmartre neighborhood. However my aunt was too tired to get inside so I just saw the church from outside. This is the inconvenience of stay just few days in Paris. I was also super tired, so I was glad to go back to the hotel.
Day four: Versailles Castle, and the dinner at Sienna River
The Versailles castle is the most beautiful castle I saw. I’m comparing with the Royal Palace of Madrid and the Windsor in Berkshire, England.
Outside I saw this huge rectangular construction with details in gold, grey walls and black roof. It’s a lot of gold, but without looking over gold. This three-floor construction with large doors and windows was built in 1624.
As I got in the fist room I saw the chapel. Maria Antoinette got married with king Louis XVI there, in April 1770. The chapel was constructed between 1689 to 1710, by the architect Hardouin-Mansart. The original work has an influence of gothic architecture and baroque aesthetics mix. The floor is made by polychromatic marble in ornamental drawing, the big columns are made by white marble, and the altar is full of gold. All the colors are in complete harmony.
The next room is called Hercules. Then comes a hall of the great department of King, with six classrooms with rich stucco, polychrome marbles, and tapestries. There are a lot of details in gold, polychrome marble in the walls and war painting in the roof. Most rooms has Crystal Chandelier in the center. What impress me was that how so many details were in harmony. It does not look over shinny.
Outside the castle was the yard. It’s considered a most sophisticated and rich hallazgos art and scenography yard of France, with an extension of 100 hectares. On the terrace adorn two sources of Diana in the right side and the Point-du-Jour on the left, crowned by bronze statues. There is also a maze of pines and different forms of trees. It’s the same as I saw in the movies, beautiful!!!
To see the castle and the yard it took almost all day, so we went to the hotel to rest a little and to get dressed to the big night. A dinner in a boat at the Sienna river.
The dinner at the Sienna was precious. I would say that everybody should try once in life. We sat by the window, so we were seeing all the view of the river. It is gorgeous, of course! I saw lovers drinking wine, families having fun, friends talking and laughing. Some people were riding a bike, others just walking in the bridges. There is a statue of liberty, arts on the walls, and little islands with yards. The border of the river is a place that everybody is invited to come and enjoy. The whole dinner trip takes one hour and a half, for me was too fast, but it was priceless.
Day five: Champs Elysees, and Arc of Triumph
Champs Elysees is a glamorous long avenue full of expensive brand stores. A park area flanks the avenue. The right side has a Théâtre Ambassadeurs-Espace Pierre Cardin, and in the left side the restaurant Ledoyen, from the time of Luis XVI. Sited at the end of the Avenue is the Arc of Triumph.
The Arc was made by order of Napoleon I. It was built between 1806 to 1836 and was dedicated to the Grand Armée. The look from the Champs Elysees reveals that it represents the departure of the volunteers of 1792, kwon by Marseillaise. the reliefs of the roof it a celebration of the Napoleon I victories.
From the top of the Arc you experience an impressive view. I could see all Paris from there. The Arc is also connecting six main avenues and it makes the view even more impressive.
At the end of all this I just have one thing to say, “Paris is an majestic city.” Everything is big, large, and gorgeous. All the structures, buildings, yards, museums, people, and fashion. The food and the wine are awesome. There’s so much culture. Everybody speaks more than one language. It’s easy to communicate. When I was there I had a feeling that I was so small among those big buildings and castles. Paris is imposing. It’s over me, over you, over everybody all the time.