Wandering in Paris
Paris has always been an inspiration for the work of artists, designers, and writers such as Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald, so one might ask “What makes Paris so special?” For some it is the city of light, and for others the city of love. I was eager to find what Paris means to me.
I have been dreaming to visit Paris for a long time and I wanted to see a lot of places in only four days. On my way from Charles de Gaulle airport to the centre, my first impression was that Paris is incredibly beautiful, wherever you look.
Its architecture is fascinating, employing a bit of every style – from Medieval through Renaissance to Art Deco. Even the entrance of the subway stations at Palais Royal has a special design inspired by Art Nouveau.
I was mesmerized by the beauty of the numerous historical sights in Paris but nothing can compare with the impression the Eiffel Tower left me with. My first glimpse of it, made me speechless as it was so majestic and grand, much bigger than I ever imagined it. As the weather was warm and sunny, some Parisians were spending their Saturday afternoon in Parc Champ de Mars right below the tower.
Beneath the tower couples were holding hands which added to the romantic and enjoyable atmosphere of the city. Of course, I couldn’t leave without going to the top of the Eiffel Tower. I had a birds-eye view of the city business district La Défense filled with skyscrapers. This amazing experience was definitely worth the one hour line to go up as the city was full of tourists because of the approaching Easter celebrations.
Champs-Elysées is another attraction worth visiting in Paris. It is one of the most iconic streets not only in the city but in the world. Going down Champs-Elysées you are surrounded by stores and cafes, until you reach the end of the street where you can see one of the most famous monuments in Paris – Arc de Triomphe. At the cafes overlooking the street, you can taste some delicious pastries like the famous French pain au chocolate with a cup of French coffee. One of my favourite pastry shop Laduree has its flagship boutique at Champs-Elysées.
Laduree is best known for its macarons (French sweet meringue-based confection), but it also has a unique selection of luxury desserts from tarts to eclairs. The 18th-century tea house on Champs-Elysées has an more astonishing design with rich decorative details like marble from the Louvre and antique woodwork.
The perfect experience in Paris combines sightseeing and leisure activities like eating an exquisite meal at one of the numerous small bistros in the city. If you are a cuisine lover, you can try some of the French specialties like onion soup or escargots. I wasn’t able to try them but I tasted some other local traditional dishes like omelette natur and crêpes, which were probably one of the best I have ever eaten.
One of the best moments I had in Paris was at the very end of the trip when I went to Montmartre hill, right next to the famous Sacré-Cœur Basilica. Many famous artists such as Salvador Dali, Claude Monet, and Vincent Van Gogh worked around this hill during the Belle Époque (beggining of twentieth centurty). Even today many artists continue painting landscapes and portraits there. From some of the parts of the Montmartre hill you could see a view of Paris from above with its glorious Eiffel Tower.
After wandering in Paris for four days, I left off to Sofia with a nostalgic feeling, but I was also inspired by all the beautiful places I saw. Paris is much more than the city of light or love. Instead, it is a very diverse city having multiple faces. Paris is a modern fashion capital which preserves its great historical heritage and culture, making it an inspiration for designers and for artists as well as turning it into one of the most visited places in the world. You can’t see all of Paris’s sides in just a few days, but you need only an hour to feel its spirit and to fall in love with it.