Paris. OMG Paris!

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So my wanderings continue and this time they have taken me to Paris. I jumped on the Euro Star at 5.40 am and slept my way in to France and not in the good kind of way.

I’m sorry Londoners but where London is pretty, Paris is absolutely STUNNING.

I have only been here a day and I’m in love. The city center with it’s history is beautiful but the thing that makes it truly stunning is that the wide streets and low parks allow you to wander around the beautiful vistas and see all around you, where London feels too close and crowded. In London the buildings jostle against each other shoulder to shoulder like a rugby scrum.

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The Eiffel tower was everything I had hoped it would be. The size and scale were truly awe inspiring. I have seen Big Ben and the statue of Liberty and they are both beautiful but they felt small compared to what I had expected. Seeing the feat of engineering and the steel work that has gone in to Frances most iconic structure will take your breath away. I’m hoping that I will get a chance to go up to the top today.

I then followed the river around and up towards Notre Dame visiting along the way the Ecole Miltaire, St Francis Xavier, Assemblee Nationale, Musee d’orsay, Obelisque, Palais Royal Mussee du Louvre, Pont Neuf, Fontaine St Michel and Notre Dame. Not bad for my first day.

The Louvre was stunning, it was easy to view and so impressive with it’s wide courtyards. The walk along the river was breath taking. Paris like London is a very flat city. I spotted only a handful of sky-scrapers. Paris and London are like old Dames, beautiful and understated. Resplendent in their detail as you get close but without being garish. By comparison the modern cities of the younger nations, places like Sydney and LA feel like drag queens laying it all bare as they call out for your attention.

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Finally I ended my walking tour at Notre Dame and was fortunate enough to arrive during a service. Entry was free and the beautiful Gothic building was filled with singing and prayer. It made my experience of the grand Cathedral quite thrilling. After visiting the Minsters in the UK which were always silent seeing Notre Dame brought to life was a wonderful experience, it was free too which made it even more awesome. Oh and a little tip… I found public toilets hard to find in Paris but there is a quiet clean little restroom behind the Cathedral in the garden that is only open when the gardeners are there. Use it hehe.

So day one in Paris was a success and I’m even more excited about today and crossing a few more sights off my map.

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6 thoughts on “Paris. OMG Paris!

  • December 4, 2014 at 4:00 pm
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    If you haven’t been to the Sainte Chapelle, put it on your “must see” list. It’s on the same island as Notre Dame, a couple of blocks north, kind of behind the Ministry of Justice (or some government office) which now occupies what was originally a royal palace.

    There’s lots of great sights to see in Paris, but Sainte Chapelle is at the top of the list or very near, IMO.

    Reply
  • December 5, 2014 at 9:06 am
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    did you know that when the Eiffel Tower was built for the world fare in 1887 that afterwards they intend on tearing it down. A lot of people at the time considered it an eye soar. However the Tower was the most visited during the fare.

    good to see your camera getting a good workout. Looks like fun 🙂

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  • December 6, 2014 at 9:48 am
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    I recommend going up to Montmartre (the artists’ district) and Sacre Coeur). The reason Paris is more spacious than London is that it was rebuilt with the wide boulevards, whereas the treat plan in London is ancient.

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  • December 6, 2014 at 12:13 pm
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    A tour of the Opera National de Paris is also a must-see. Go to the rooftop of Galeries Lafeyette – the view is stunning (plus there was a nice Aussie boy selling coffee when I was there earlier this year). Cafe Republique do superb salads, and the chocolateries, antique shops and boys in Marais are a must-see. The Sunday markets at Bastille are great for people-watching. Enjoy!

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  • December 7, 2014 at 5:23 am
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    You might notice that a lot of major streets and at least one roundabout are named for American generals of WWI and WWII, and Presidents Roosevelt and Wilson. It is amazing how intertwined are the military histories of the States and France. For me the most moving small space in Paris is the Picpus Cemetery, which is hidden behind an ancient two story house. Inside, in the center of a hollowed out block of apartment houses, is a park, a chapel and two small burial enclosures. One is the mass grave of aristocrats killed in The Terror, and the other contains the resting places of some of the noblest families of France. In the far corner, closest to the mass grave, is the flat tomb of the Marquis de Lafayette and his wife. Her mother and sister are in the unmarked grave. At the head of his tombstone is a flagpole that always flies the American flag (the U.S. embassy changes it every year in a ceremony). Around it are small medallions left there by descendants of American revolutionary units that fought under Lafayette’s command. No American can go there without being profoundly affected.

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  • December 8, 2014 at 10:05 am
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    G’day Shannon. It’s Michael here, from the old blog ‘Tres Fab Sweetie!’ Great to see you have a ball in Paris; I’m so jealous. Definitely want to get there myself one day! I just wanted to let you know that I am now blogging again, the new blog is called Gay Treasure Trail http://gaytreasuretrail.blogspot.com I had to suddenly stop my old blog because of serious ongoing health issues. Those are still ongoing, but I have decided that a somewhat pared back blog is still entirely possible, where I can post as much or as little as needed. If I need to take a break for any reason, I will, but won’t take down the blog. Simply resume it again when all is OK. Anyhoo, have been loving reading all about your new life in the UK and travels. You stay happy and well, sweetie. Much love across the pond to ya.

    Michael Poole
    Sydney, Australia

    Reply

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