Well, it’s time for the last post in this series. My trip to Europe started in Vienna, Austria, and along the way I also showed off some of northern Italy, the Côte d’Azur, and the mountainside and countryside of France. Today is the final stop: Paris!
Paris is one of those cities that you grow up loving. As a Canadian, I was taught French in high school (and promptly forgot most of it), but I definitely think that this had an impact on how much I wanted to visit France, and how I already knew exactly where I wanted to visit. But not only that, the culture surrounding the city is ingrained in many movies, TV shows, books… everything — it’s well known as the city of love/romance, the city attractions are world famous, and it’s one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. In other words, there’s no way I was missing it! I had my checklist going in: The Eiffel Tower (duh!), the Louvre, the Notre Dame, and the Arc de Triomphe. I wasn’t going to miss any of them, but I only had two days — so it was a rush!
I have literally thousands of pictures of Paris, hundreds in the Louvre of the amazing art, statues, and murals (honestly I think my favourite part of Paris), and there’s just too much to show in one post. So I picked the famous and favourite pictures, so you hopefully see a bit of the taste that I had!
Musée du Louvre
Here it is, the first stop on my tour. I’m no artist, but I have a huge appreciation for it, and museums are a wonderful pastime for me. The Louvre is the largest and arguably the most famous museum in the entire world. During the days of the French empires, they were constantly expanding their artwork collection — some being taken not so righteously! Anyways, here you can see the palace (pyramid) — this shot I actually took from inside part of the Louvre, from a window looking at the back of the pyramid, which is nice because that means not many people obstructing my photography! 🙂
Inside the Louvre
The murals and artwork surrounding the Louvre was gorgeous and impressive. There was so much detail in every inch of this place, with unparalleled care and attention. You could seriously spend a lifetime here understanding the stories and thoughts behind each and every piece in these rooms!
Here’s one of the famous statues that made for a wonderful minimalist picture: Winged Victory of Samothrace. It’s one of the most celebrated statues in the world, and is prominently displayed in a large staircase plaza as one of the only pieces. The most interesting (lack of) feature: there’s no head!
The Mona Lisa
If I were to post the pictures I took of all the art in the Louvre, I would have to post hundreds and be at it for days. So, I’ll stick to the most famous piece: The Mona Lisa. The painting is behind a large protective glass (sadly which is reflective, as you can see at the bottom of the shot), and is much, much smaller than I expected. But hey, I can now say I got to see it in person, which is cool!
If you didn’t know, the Statue of Liberty is French! It was a gift from France to the US in regards to their independence and, well, liberty. As such, the French still like the design, and there’s many replicas. This one is on the Île aux Cygnes, very close to the Eiffel Tower.
Of course. Everyone knows the Eiffel Tower, and there’s way more pictures of the tower than there needs to be, probably. But hey, it’s another case of “sure, but this is my picture.” And that’s how I feel — I was there, and I am proud and happy that I got to visit it, so this represents my own personal memory. 🙂
View from the Tower
I ended up having lunch on the tower (at Le 58 Tour Eiffel) as part of the tour, which was super cool. Here’s some of the view I had from the level I was on — it’s certainly a breathtaking view, and a wonderful experience to walk around the tower, and just breathe in the atmosphere of Paris.
Notre Dame de Paris
When people say “Notre Dame”, despite being a common term for many basilicas or churches, when we talk about the Notre dame, we are referring to this guy, in Paris. One cool point of architecture is the tall spire (flèche), which was added during a reconstruction of the church. So, to me, it stands out as a bit out of place — but it certainly adds character.
Front of the Notre Dame
Here’s two shots (one normal, and one where I just HAD to be a bit artistic) of the front of the Notre Dame. The detail in the carvings is really quite amazing, with full stories and different people in the arches over the entrances.
Inside the Notre Dame
Here’s my favourite photo that I took in Paris. This is just entering the Notre Dame, and gosh was it ever majestic inside. The lighting was dark, but with this really cool effect of the light shining through all the stained glass, making the effect you see on the left of this picture — a colourful display cast on the walls.
The City of Romance
One thing Paris is known for, is the aura of Romance and Love. I was rather happy to catch this cute moment by this couple along the Seine, the main river running through Paris!
Another facet to Paris and the romantic idea is the ‘Love Locks’ that people place on all the bridges. Some of the bridges had walls to prevent people from doing this, but love uh… finds a way. It wasn’t even a tradition that started in Paris, but it certainly spread there quick!
One final shot of walking along the Seine! It really is a beautiful river, and there are lots of tour boats that go along it (and taking one is well worth it).
Arc De Triomphe
The last place I visited was the Champs-Élysées, a very famous road in Paris (there’s literally songs about it!). Along the road is the final tourist destination that I could not miss: the Arc De Triomphe, built to honour historical wars and revolutions in France. It’s also right in the middle of a roundabout and along the road, so this shot was literally me standing in the middle of the road during a red light. But worth it!