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.
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.
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.