a lot! and it’s beautiful! i’ve never been somewhere – in a city – that is so beautiful! there is beauty every where. the buildings were built to last forever (the louvre, the eiffel tower, the opera, sacre coer and all the other big churches) and they’re not just old buildings but real monuments, things you have to see once in your life.
yes – it’s a place of history. there have been kings and emperors and you just see that all around the city. the townscape is big and magnificent – not in a new york kind of style where everything is just big just for the sake of it – paris is more elegant and with a certain eye for the beautiful things.
something that instantly caught my eye were the metro signs. beautiful and sometimes in art nouveau style.
what impressed me the most, deeply, to the bottom of my heart – the architecture of the louvre. i arrived at metro station “pyramides” and walked there and after going through a tunnel in the richelieu pavillon i stood there in the middle of the “place du louvre”. breath.taking. it could be my personal taste but i love good architecture and this one is impressive. huge, elegant and with the modern glass pyramides in the middle this place looks WOW!!
to get inside there was a loooong line but it was wednesday morning and i got inside in about 15 minutes.
this museum is a huge one and actually you need 3 weeks to look at everything thoroughly but i walked around for 4 hours, looked, took my time… while everybody else was running around like crazy (either bored or stressed) taking pictures of everything. i didn’t get why they just didn’t buy a book at the entrance and enjoyed the art. but no – they mostly photographed everything they saw (instead of looking at it) and ran off the the next painting or statue. so weird.
and of course i met the mona lisa. found her in the room with the biggest crowd and i only had about 14 seconds to look at her before i was forced to take a picture and make room for the other 4830 people behind and beside me so they could take a picture of her. i really wished i had more time to enjoy the beauty of this painting. i never got the excitement about it but now i can totally understand without really knowing why it is so. maybe because she’s so tiny and hug up in a room with paintings that are 30 times her size. or maybe because of the look of her eyes? whatever it is, i’m glad we’ve met. even if it was just for a short moment.
i highly recommend you once visit the louvre. it’s beautiful inside and outside.
special tip: buy your ticket in advance here and avoid the long line to get in. it only took me 15 minutes to get inside but another 15 minutes to buy a ticket which i could have avoided if i had my ticket already.
other than that i’ve seen the notre dame church where i stumbled into a concert of a choir from nebraska. sitting there, listening to them made me cry. it was just overwhelming and i was so happy to be there.
while walking around i discovered marais in the 3rd and 4th arrondissement where all the good shops and small tea salons are. it’s the most beautiful part of paris (as far as i know now) where i came back every single day of our stay. at the end of my longs days of walking i always ended up there to have a snack and to listen to the musicians on the street and to shop lovely little things that were beyond vuitton and dior (i’ll write more about shopping later this week). it’s truly a special place.
on our last day we climbed the eiffel tower. all the 669 stairs!! 3 of the 4 elevators were closed due to construction so we didn’t want to wait in that long line and just walked up. you can only walk until the 2nd base which is pretty high already. then you have to take the elevator up to the very top to have a stunning view. for me personally it’s always a big deal to see a city from the top of a high building. it’s really really great though the actual tower is impressive already and i couldn’t believe that they wanted to tear it down 20 years after it was built. fortunately they didn’t. i took some very nice pictures from the tower and the city.
this was part 1 of my paris favorite sight seeing places. more about it tomorrow. stay tuned.