Paris pt 2

Posted: 10 March 2011 in Travel
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Despite only being in Paris for a weekend, I was able to cram a whole lot into those two days (I left early on the third day). As I wrote yesterday, I got to see two of the main attractions of Paris: the Arc de Triomphe and the Louvre. And they were amazing. Thankfully the second day was no nearly as stressful.

We had wanted to go see Versailles, but couldn’t be bothered to get up early so naturally we didn’t. But I guess it turned out for the better. We got to see quite a bit of the rest of the city.

As I wrote two days ago, our first major stop was the Eiffel Tower. It was fantastic although I didn’t get to go o the third etage. I’m not going to go into detail about it as I wrote a whole blog about it. So I’m just going to start this where we went after there.

Just south of the Eiffel Tower is one of two replicas of the Statue of Liberty found in Paris. And if I am not mistaken, while the video of the statue is authentic in National Treasure 2, the bridge they are on is not. At least it is not the one directly next to the statue. It was inaugurated on the 4th of July, 1889 for the 100 year anniversary of the French Revolution. It is typically referred to as the second statue as the on in the Jardin du Luxembourg is considered to be the original bronze model used in the creation of our Statue of Liberty (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Replicas_of_the_Statue_of_Liberty).

From there we caught the subway over to the Notre Dame. There was so many people there. I was quite surprised. But then I soon found out why. Because you could get in for free. I was pretty surprised as it costs around £15 to get into Westminster Abbey, the most famous cathedral in England, and Notre Dame is the most famous cathedral in France. The line was pretty long but it went pretty quick and it was really worth it. Traditionally starting 1163, various alterations being done over the following centuries (http://www.cathedraledeparis.com/Building-history). Like most cathedrals, it is spacious and a bit drafty. The outside is remarkably similar to that of the Koeln (Cologne) cathedral, except that the famous german cathedral’s towers have spires and is in general much bigger.

The next place we went to was a very big disappointment for me. I was born on July 14th, which is Bastille Day, French Independence Day. Of course, being in Paris, I could not leave without seeing the site which the day my birth commemorates. When we got there I was very disappointed to find that there were no ruins of the Bastille, but rather a statue in the middle of a roundabout. I had no idea that they had demolished the site. I mean, how could you demolish a site that was a major symbol of the freedom of your country? But then again, since it was a symbol of oppression, there would be no reason why they would want it around. Come to find, it began to be cleared away the day after and by november was completely vacated (http://www.discoverfrance.net/France/Paris/Monuments-Paris/Bastille5.shtml). It was still a disappointment, but the only one of the trip. It is not far from the Notre Dame so I suggest talking a nice stroll along the Seine if you plan on going to see it.

The last place we went was Sacre-Couer. We had to get there quickly as it was getting dark. Other than Versailles, it is probably the site furthest from downtown. You will need to make a couple changes depending on which subway you get on.

Sacre-Couer, which I mistakenly refer to as Montmartre which is actually the name of the mountain on which it stands, is a beautiful white church. The area around it is actually quite romantic as well. Cobblestone streets, tourist shops and cafes scattered around the base of the park below the church. It was such a beautiful area.

The church itself was a very lovely building. It is the highest point in Paris and made for a great panoramic view. But it sadly short-lived. Not long after we got there we had to leave as it was closing. But at least we got to see it. We also got crepes from a cafe across the road.

Overall, I absolutely loved the trip. I will definitely be going back. There are plenty more things I have to do there. Plus, I really want to celebrate my birthday there some year 😉

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