City of Light
The moment you enter Paris, you know it’s a special place. From the beautiful architecture on every street, to the amazing food, to the world renowned museums, and lastly to the gardens seemingly around every corner.
This past weekend I had the opportunity to visit this amazing city with my two roommates and a couple other exchange students. Having been to Paris once before my expectations for the trip were pretty high, but Paris delivered 100%. We spent 3 days in Paris so there was plenty of time to see all the famous sites.
On the first day we arrived late in the afternoon just as the sun was setting over the city. We walked around the Champs-Élysées and took in the beauty of the Arc de Triomphe. From pictures and postcards the Arc does not look very big, but once you are standing underneath it you sure feel insignificant in comparison. Later on in the night we walked aimlessly along the Seine taking in the views from one bridge to the next. In my opinion you can walk around Paris with no distinct destination at all and still see some of the most beautiful places without even trying.
The next morning another fellow exchange student and I decided to explore the city together. We once again walked along the Seine. I wouldn’t ever want to swim in it, but it sure has a nice view. During the day we explored the Tuileries Garden, the Church of the Invalides, and some other smaller museums. That evening we all went out as a group and explored the nightlife with recommendations from my Parisian roommate and his friends.he following day we woke up early, and started the day off by eating some delicious croissants. So good. Wish I had one right now. Then we departed for the city center and began exploring the main sites in Paris. We walked to Cathedral Notre Dame and toured inside for around 1 hour. I believe this is one of the most beautiful churches in the world, so I could stay and gaze in wonder for hours upon end. Next we continued walking in the same area and went to the locks bridge. I’m sure it has an actual name, but most people recognize the bridge by just looking at its sides decked in locks. This bridge has every lock of every shape and color. Each lock has a unique inscription. From Tom loves Jane to 5o years strong B+R. It’s amazing to just stand next to the railing and see the insaine volume of locks on each side of the bridge. One day they might have to start cutting them off, but for now everything seems fine. Since I was visiting this bridge on Valentine’s Day, you can imagine that the bridge was packed with couples waiting for their chance to attach their lock. The thing I found most interesting was the various different ages and nationalities of the people on the bridge that day. From 50 year old parents, to 18 year old crushes, to the recently married couple. There was even a bride to be taking pictures with the bridge in the background.
Last but definitely not least we went to the Eiffel Tower and explored the park on one side and the beautiful fountains on the other. In comparison to the Arc, the immense size of the Tower isn’t apparent until your standing right next to it. Later that night one of my roommates (who is actually from Paris) and I went to a soccer match at Parc de Princes to see the home team Paris St. Germain (PSG) play. PSG has a reputation for being one of the best teams in Europe this year so it was awesome to actually see them in person. In the end, PSG definitely lived up to their reputation by beating their opponent 3-0.
On our last half day in Paris my friend and I decided the best way to spend it was in the Louvre. Even though I had visited the Louvre once before, I was very happy to have the opportunity to visit again. The size and massive exhibits at the Louvre could keep a person occupied for days on end. The Louvre houses some of the most famous art in the world so it definitely lives up to every expectation. In addition, during high school I took an Art History class for a year, so the Louvre is basically the cream of the crop for art enthusiasts. After a couple hours we unfortunately had to leave, but I sure enjoyed my time seeing all the wonderful pieces of art.
The next two weeks for me are filled with final examinations so the only traveling I am going to be doing is the trip to and from the library. Following exams I will be traveling to Berlin for a school trip, which should be great.
Until next time…