The City of Light (La Ville Lumiere)

October 2010

I had been to Paris before but only to Disneyland Paris so I had never been to the City itself. I had always wanted to see the Eiffel Tower! I arrived at Charles De Gaulle airport in the morning and the transfer to my little studio in the city took around 1 hour with the traffic. The metro was only a 2 minute walk away but rather than work the stops out I wanted to get to the Eiffel Tower straight away so I hopped in a taxi.

I was not disappointed at the beautiful setting before me! It was a lovely  sunny Autumn day and I had the Tower to my right and the Seine river to my left. Paris really is a City of amazing architecture. I walked around the surrounding areas and took some beautiful photos and went into a shop or two and ended up buying some lovely souvenirs.

I was due to meet up with my Friend Edgar that night, I hadn’t seen him since May 2007 when I had stayed with him during some of my holiday to Mexico so I was very much looking forward to it. He came to meet me at my studio but it wasn’t very obvious where about it was and I had little to no signal. So he stood in the street just shouting my name, by some miracle the lady who had checked me in was in the street and let him in to the building and gave him directions to the studio. We were finally reunited and we were on our way to a club on the Champs Elysees. It was very busy and getting a taxi back proved to be quite a task!

The next day we met up at the Eiffel Tower and today we were going up it! There was the option to walk up or to take a lift. Walking was not a real option to me! So there was a short wait and then we were taken up some of the way in a glass lift where we then got out and wondered around the observatory deck. Next it was up to the very top and the views were amazing, it was another beautiful clear sunny day and you could see for miles! I took lots of photos, we could see the Arc De Triomph, the Notre Dame Cathedral and the Seine.

The next day we met up and decided to explore the City our first stop was going to be The Louvre. The museum is housed in the Louvre Palace, it is a very large and impressive building. There are fountains outside and you enter through the glass pyramid. There are lots of different collections within the museum, including Egyptian, Greek and Roman Antiquities, Sculpture, Decorative Arts, Paintings, Prints and Drawings. First we wanted to see Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa. I have to admit I was very underwhelmed as the painting was so small and it was housed in a room with a large painting the length of a whole wall which I found much more impressive. My favourite section was the Egyptian artefacts section, I found it all very fascinating. We stayed until the museum was closing and then made our way to the Eiffel Tower in time to see it light up and sparkle at 7pm.

We decided The Palace of Versailles was to be our next visit. There were lots of public service strikes taking place at the time so unfortunately when we arrived we realised we would not be able to go inside the palace. It was such a shame as I had seen some beautiful photos of what some of the grand rooms looked like. We were however still able to explore the grounds which were vast. We then headed back to the City to find the Moulin Rouge.

Moulin Rouge is French for Red Mill. The Moulin Rouge is best known for the birthplace of the modern can-can dance. If you want to watch one of the cabaret shows be warned it is very expensive. We decided to do some more souvenir shopping and get some lunch and then we went on to La Defense.

La defense is the business district of Paris and we also did some more shopping here. I got some photos  of La Grande Arch De La Defense, also if  you look straight down the street it stretches all the way back to the Arc De Triomphe.

The Arc De Triomphe is one of the most famous monuments in Paris, it honours those who fought and died for France in the French Revolutionary and the Napoleonic Wars. When we arrived there just happened to be some kind of remembrance ceremony taking place.  There also happened to be a very attractive French Police Man in attendance. Lets just say I had to be dragged away.

We also explored The Champs Elysees which is well known for it’s theatres, cafes and luxury shops. I took some photos of these luxury shops for example Louis Vuitton which only allowed a certain amount of customers in at a time and the rest had to queue up outside! I was happy to window shop. The only shops I did go in were the Disney Store and H+M, which are much more in my price range.

I was due to fly back home the next morning and it was lovely to know it would be a wonderfully short flight. I had loved my time in The City Of Light and could now tick off ‘See the Eiffel Tower’ from my list. Magical.