A friend of mine, the one who volunteered to take on the challenge to tour me around Paris, always says, ‘Paris est une sorciere’ or as what I have learned from the internet, translates to ‘Paris is a witch’. For a person who is about to travel to Paris for the first time, I am inclined to believe her. I mean, she has been there for twelve years. who else would know Paris that those who are actually living there?
But as our conversation developed, I did get her point. She went on to say that if I live there, I would definitely want to leave. Though the moment I leave, she is certain that I would want to return. I was saying to myself, why would I want to leave? Anyway, I noticed why my friend said that statement. Living in the city is stressful, and in Paris it is double or perhaps, triple of that.
However, it cannot be denied that visiting Paris is rather different. Traveling in Paris is beautiful, it is passionate, and it is historical.
And this is what lured me, and a million more visitors to this wonderful piece of earth. The charm and appeal of Paris can be found in every nook and cranny of its winding roads. One will find such allure in the cafes facing the verdant environment, the seats strategically positioned in the parks, in the historical museums, and in the delectable pastries. Stress must be placed upon the pastries.
And believe me, I have been stuffing my face with all sorts of pastries in my month’s stay there. This love affair with Paris only blooms in the aperitifs and in the restaurants and everywhere really. Indeed, Paris is life! And everything in this fabulous City of Light pervades you with romance and passion.
That said, here is what my friend told me. And this is what I’ll be sharing with you.
If you target French people, I mean, if you want to meet the locals, then you have to brush on your French lessons. Moreover, be certain to schedule your visit to Paris in any other month except July and August, which are the summer months. The local do take their vacations seriously. And in these months they are all gone! And if they do stay behind, they do not want to be disturbed, more so by annoying foreigners.
In most food establishments, the chairs are turned down; the cafes are closed, even the doctor’s offices are closed as well. Tourists wonder where all the people are, well, where the locals are, particularly. I was told that most are vacationing somewhere in Spain or somewhere in Azores. The French are everywhere except in Paris in the months of July and August. With that pointed out, the visitors conquer the city!
First time visitors in the city usually bear in their mind a list of typical tourist sights or the traditional must-see sights which demonstrates the monumental and structural magnificence of the French capital. However, the tourists eventually learn that there is much, much more Paris could offer. And gradually, one would realize that one could not experience the entirety of Paris in just one trip. One has just have to return.
Speaking of the must-sees, this is my personal list of the traditional, sort of permanent fixture in the list of many tourists: the Eiffel Tower. I mean, no one could ever think of Paris without thinking of the Eiffel Tower. This grand and artsy steel structure was regarded, roughly three or four decades ago, as the world’s tallest man-made structure.
For a tourists and locals alike, the Eiffel Tower has been the very icon of Paris. Certainly, the view from the first as well as the second level is splendid, but for me, the real beauty can be seen from the structure itself. One may opt to take a boat ride on the river Seine. And it will provide you with a wonderful sight, especially when the boat turn and one would see a full view of the statue of liberty.
Paris, structurally, was developed to portray celebrated monuments and shrines like the la Madeleine and le Sacre Coeur churches, and let us not forget the la cathedrale Notre Dame. Of course, the Louvre, is also a staple in the must-see-sights. In there, one will discover a structure dedicated to both the arts as well as the government.
One could stroll along the magnificent gardens of the Louvre, les jardins du Luxembourg, les jardins des Tuileries, and take in the beauty of nature. Also, do not miss the Montparnasse, specially at night.