They say that Paris is for lovers, and boy, isn't that true! Aashish and I, after two years of being married, finally got to take our honeymoon earlier this year. We each chose a city. I picked Paris, Aashish picked Rome. We ended up spending nine days in this glorious city and we didn't waste a second of it. Every morning we got up at 8:30 and were out the door by 9:00. We would spend all day exploring the city, and wouldn't return to our AirBnB until 10:00 or 11:00 at night. It still wasn't enought time.
We saw so much while we were in Paris! We hit all the major attractions, such as the Louvre and Versailles, as well as the littler, lesser known attractions, such as Victor Hugo's appartment and the Marie Curie Museum. Because we saw so, so much and took way too many photos, I just wanted to share a few highlights of the trip.
The Musée d'Orsay
While the Louvre is by far the most famous museum in Paris, perhaps even in the world, it was not our favorite museum that we visited while in the City of Lights. The award for the best museum would definitely have to go to the Musée d'Orsay. We have a few Parisian friends and they all indicated that the Musée d'Orsay was their favorite Parisian Museum too. It was certainly stunning, from the incredible architechture, to the beautiful collection of sculptures and paintings, to the breathtaking views. My favorite things to see in the museum were striking (no pun intended) clock fixtures throughout the top floor. Pro tip: rather than wait in the super crowded line in the Impressionist exhibit to take a photo in front of the clock, grab a bite to eat at the cafe. The food is delicious, not as expensive as you'd expect, and there is no line for the clock!
Sainte-Chapelle is one of the few sights I have seen that literally took my breath away. The photos simply don't do it justice. The entire chapel is comprised of floor-to-ceiling stained glass panels. The guidebook estimates that over three-quarters of the building is made of glass. I felt like someone had shrunk me down and put me into the most ornate Turkish lantern I had ever seen. We went on a gloomy day when the skies were overcast, but this building was still filled with the most dazzling light I had ever seen. We were bathed in beams of blue and gold and purple. We got the combined ticket that also gave us access to the Conciergerie. The Conciergerie was one of my favorite museums simply because of the way the museum provides a compelling narrative of history of the French Revolution. I usually prefer museums that are more visual, with art and architecture that keep me interested. But the Conciergerie, while significantly more informational than visual, kept me intruigued throughout, hanging on every word the curators had to say.
Shakespeare & Company
The Shakespeare & Co. Bookstore located in the Latin District was of course a must-see for me. This bookstore is tiny but filled to the brim with books, music, and laughter. The store is everything I could ever dream of. Walls covered in books, books piled in the corner, a quaint little staircase that leads up to the second floor that is filled with more books, plants, a piano, and windows that look out onto the Seine and the busy Parisian streets. Can I just live there forever? *Sigh*
Ballon Generali de Paris
How the Ballon Generali does not even feature on most Paris travel guides beats me. This was one of the most spectacular things Aashish and I did while in Paris. You have to call ahead and make sure the balloon is not down due to weather conditions, and I suggest getting there early to beat the heat. It is about a 40 minute trip from city-center. It is only a 15 minute ride up into the air, but it costs about 10 euros per person, so it is pretty afforable. It was worth every bit of effort and every penny it cost. The balloon is out of the center of Paris, is very peaceful and quiet, and goes up high enough that you get spectacular bird's eye views of the city. It is a truly unique experience a little off the beaten path and provides a great photo-op.
The Parisian Streets Themselves
Honestly, the best part of Paris, though, was just the Parisian streets themselves. We would literally hit the ground running each morning and just walk and walk until our feet were going to fall off, stop for a picnic and rest, then walk and walk some more. Every little corner of Paris is just so beautiful, and there is so much to see by just meandering and getting lost. Beautiful buildings, quaint allies with fire escpapes covered in plants, hidden parks blooming with roses and peonies, murals and street art, and just simply the people too!
I have so many photos from this trip, but I won't bore you with them all. I still have photos from Rome to share too, so stay posted for those.
Until next time!