32 In Archaeology + History/ Art + Museums/ France/ Travel

Paris-my first love

Ever since I was about 5-years old and saw the movie “Sabrina” I always wanted to go to Paris.  I fell in love with the Eiffel Tower and the thing that Paris epitomizes, love.  When in high school I decided to take French, which is why my parents decided to send me to France, and make my very first travel dream come true.

Our French adventure started in Paris, of course!  I landed in Charles de Gaulle and was instantly excited by the posters in French, and knew I was not going to be disappointed in this adventure.  We got off the plane and went right into the sightseeing.  Our first stop was sightseeing, and the whole bus-ride there was thrilling!  I think I actually squealed when I saw the Eiffel Tower!  In Versailles, though I was amazed for the first time by architecture.  I had never been to a big city, let alone in a Palace!  I took pictures of EVERYTHING!  Light fixtures, the ceilings, doors, windows, and floors!  I was in heaven.  Then after our tour we found a little cafe and had our first french meal… Crouque-Monsieurs (Open-faced hot ham and cheese); YUM!

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The HAll of Mirrors

The HAll of Mirrors

The Garden of Versailles

The Garden of Versailles

Later that evening we went on a Bateaux Mouche.  Which is a touristy, but delightful river-cruise down the Seine.  We went at night, which was so beautiful.  The Eiffel Tower was all lit up, and every hour, on the hour it twinkled.  It was stunning!  All the buildings along the Seine were also lit up, as well as the bridge that we floated under.  It was a very touristy first day, but I loved every second of it!

The Eiffel Tower all lit up!

The Eiffel Tower all lit up!

The next day we went on a city tour in the morning, where we went around to the hot spots and then we had the afternoon to get lost.  We went to the Eiffel Tower first things and took tons and tons of pictures.  We also went to Notre Dame, which, was so amazing to see such a legendary church, but I wish I would’ve paid to climb up and around to the back side of it.  Then we just walked around the city.  We stopped at a bunch of street vendors, where, I tried to use as much french as humanly possible, even though it wasn’t much.  This sweet, old man selling candy who laughed at my french and told me that he liked my attempts at speaking french, and gave me a bunch of free candy.  It was so sweet.We walked around and talked to everyone we could.  It was a lot of fun, and that night at dinner I had my very first glass of wine!

My mom, grandma and me at the Peace Memorial in front of the Eiffel Tower

My mom, grandma and me at the Peace Memorial in front of the Eiffel Tower

Eiffel Tower!

Eiffel Tower!

Details on the Eiffel Tower

Details on the Eiffel Tower

Looking up the skirt of the Eiffel Tower.

Looking up the skirt of the Eiffel Tower.

Ponte du France. The very center of France in front of Notre Dame.

Ponte du France. The very center of France in front of Notre Dame.

Notre Dame

Notre Dame

A Street View of Montmartre

A Street View of Montmartre

Notre Dame from across the Seine

Notre Dame from across the Seine

Our next day in Paris we went to the Louvre!  It was so beautiful!  The museum itself was a true work of art.  Our tickets got messed up, so since I was on a tour, we ended up having to kinda rush through the museum.  We hit most of the “hot spots” like the ‘Mona Lisa’ (which I found to be overrated…), ‘Venus de Milo’, and the ‘Winged Victory’.  Of those three Louvre classics, I thought the Winged Victory was my favorite!  After hunting those down we only had about 30 minutes left there, so we went to the Egyptian exhibit.

The Louvre

The Louvre

Mona Lisa

Mona Lisa

Venus de Milo

Venus de Milo

The Winged Victory

The Winged Victory

After that we went up in the Eiffel Tower.  We had the greatest view in all of Paris!  It was so fantastic!  You could see every amazing building, Montmartre, and the Seine.  I was living my 5-year-old dream (minus Harrison Ford flying there and finally showing his sensitive side….).

Arc de Triomphe from the Eiffel Tower

Arc de Triomphe from the Eiffel Tower

The Seine from the Eiffel Tower

The Seine from the Eiffel Tower

After soaking in all the time on the Eiffel Tower we went on the Champs Elysees.  We went into a bunch of fun little shops, went by the Arc de Triomphe, and gazed upon the giant Louis Vuitton Purses!  One really memorable experience was we got to see the flowers on the tomb of the unknown soldier get changed out.  There was a group of older gentlemen in their uniforms and they had this very obvious sense of pride about them, and it was such a special moment to get to witness.  After a little bit of shopping and some dinner we called it a night.

Champs Elysee

Champs Elysee

Cute little French Lady by the Arc de Triomphe

Cute little French Lady by the Arc de Triomphe

Changing of the Flowers at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

Changing of the Flowers at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

The next day we went to the Musee D’Orsay, which was, from what I saw, my favorite of the two museums.  It was full of impressionist art like Monet, Van Gough, and Manet.  It was amazing!  There was a huge display of ornate furniture, which, I’m not really into, but it was still pretty!  I also loved the huge animal sculptures outside of the museum, and the huge clock in the museum is very beautiful and well known.

Clock at the Musse D'Orsay

Clock at the Musse D’Orsay

Then we went to Sainte Chapelle, which is one of the most stunning cathedrals I have ever seen, if not the prettiest.  The walls (floor to ceiling) were covered with the most ornate stained-glass!  Every where you look there’s another story told through tiny mosaics of glowing glass!  It just makes you step back and think about just how much someone went through to make this beautiful piece of art.

Sainte Chapelle

Sainte Chapelle

Beautiful Stained Glass

Beautiful Stained Glass

So much stained glass!

So much stained glass!

That night we went to Montmartre, which, thanks to Moulin Rouge was another obsession with Paris and love.  The Moulin Rouge, was nothing like I expected, and there is no awesome, giant elephant that you can live in behind it.  However, there was an amazing, yet touristy, little square with all of these stands set up with artists painting Paris-scapes, and portraits, and I had my portrait drawn while I was there.  It was a really neat experience.  Then we walked over to Sacre Coeur after sunset, which was all lit up, and from on top of the hill you could see all the lights of Paris, but including the Eiffel Tower… I’d say it’s the second-best view in Paris.

Sacre Coeur

Sacre Coeur

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Paris, being my first international trip, will always hold a special place in my heart.  That being said, there are a few things that I would do differently.  I would cut back on the more touristy things.  However, I would spend a day in the parks, with a bottle of wine and cheese, I would go to the parc where Monet was inspired to paint to Water Lilies!  I would’ve tried to eat more like the locals, looked into some of the lesser known museums, and spent more time in the Louvre.

 

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32 Comments

  • Reply
    ClenbuterolClenn
    June 6, 2011 at 2:21 am

    I love fortheloveofwanderlust.com , bookmarked for future reference

    prohormones

  • Reply
    TFab
    June 15, 2011 at 2:34 pm

    I enjoyed reading about your trip to Paris~ I’m going in July for the first time. Thanks for the idea about visiting the parks; what better way to enjoy some delish wine!

    • Reply
      ashleypaige4
      June 15, 2011 at 3:29 pm

      Thank you so much! You’ll LOVE Paris! It’s really romanitc- I hope I get to go back!

      Be sure to enjoy a glass for me, and I’ll be sure to watch for you to post about your experience!

  • Reply
    Gayle Jervis
    March 21, 2012 at 6:16 pm

    I loved your description of Paris. Your enthusiasm and freshness was wonderful! Several years ago when my daughter graduated from university, her dad and I took her to London. I will always treasure seeing her eyes just sparkle at everything she saw. When we go to Paris this fall, I want to have that same kind of sparkle!!

    • Reply
      ashleypaige4
      March 21, 2012 at 11:47 pm

      Thank you so much for the wonderful compliments! I can’t wait to experience traveling with my children (however I’m no where close to even having children ha!). Are all three of you going to Paris? I think you’ll love it!

  • Reply
    t.on.air
    March 28, 2012 at 1:36 pm

    Not my first love but definitely one of my love affairs. Thanks for this post!

    • Reply
      ashleypaige4
      March 28, 2012 at 4:50 pm

      Thank you for reading and commenting! It was my first international trip so it was the first place I fell in love with and it was the first place I wanted to visit. Where’s your first love?

      • Reply
        t.on.air
        March 29, 2012 at 12:01 am

        New York CIty!

        • Reply
          ashleypaige4
          March 29, 2012 at 1:23 am

          I’ve somehow managed to never go to NYC, which is pretty sad considering I’ve lived in the US my whole life!

          • t.on.air
            March 29, 2012 at 5:12 am

            I would recommend you to go there soon! This city is just amazing.

          • ashleypaige4
            March 29, 2012 at 9:43 am

            I’ll have to do that! What is your favorite thing about it?

          • t.on.air
            March 29, 2012 at 12:04 pm

            Architecture, people, multiculturalism, the sound of the city… Anyway, if I go on with my list like this, I wouldn’t be done until tomorrow. Go there and see it yourself!

  • Reply
    ElizabethWolf
    November 18, 2012 at 9:50 pm

    Mmmmm…Paris was my first love too…

    • Reply
      ashleypaige4
      November 18, 2012 at 9:52 pm

      There’s just something about it that is so alluring; you just can’t help but fall in love. Thanks for reading and commenting!

  • Reply
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    alyknowsbest
    November 4, 2013 at 10:09 pm

    How I LOVE Paris! I hope to live there someday. I love your philosophy on travel! I feel the same way!

    xx Aly

    alyknowsbest.wordpress.com

  • Reply
    crowcanyonjournal
    February 14, 2014 at 10:33 pm

    Loved your post. We have been all over but never in Paris. This year we will finally see the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre and everything else! Thanks for visiting my blog.

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      PaigeBrown
      February 15, 2014 at 9:05 am

      Thanks for reading and commenting! I’m sure you’ll LOVE Paris! Which part are you most looking forward to?

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  • Reply
    Sandy N Vyjay
    July 25, 2017 at 8:01 pm

    Paris does this to everyone. It pulls people with its charisma and then enthralls you with its beauty and you have no option but to fall head over heels in love. The instant I set foot in Paris, I was gone and I knew that I would have to come here again and again.

    • Reply
      Paige Wunder
      July 25, 2017 at 11:53 pm

      Paris was definitely much more of a love before going than after. While I loved its allure and romance, I wasn’t so captivated that I KNEW I had to come back. Although, I’d love to return with my husband. Seems extra romantic now, somehow.

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    London-Unattached.com
    September 3, 2017 at 3:24 pm

    Paris was the first place I ever went to without my parents. And, I share your love, though I have to admit that I was surprised at how SMALL the mona lisa was! I love Musee dOrsay though! I hope you go back soon!

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