Ah Paris—the City of Lights and love, and home of artistic inspirations and romantic architecture. It is no surprise that nobody can resist the allure of France.
Despite its grand reputation, Paris is known to us as a city of intimacy, and the best way to immerse yourself is through your feet. Traveling with my two high school friends, Mariel and Meg, we held up an attitude of qui vivra verra, in search of a true artist’s adventure.
Gastronomie ala carte
Our breakfast would consist of a to the Luxembourg gardens, which is a 23-hectare of calm and green parterre divided by lawns and fountains.
We would order in the nearby café some Chocolat du pain and espresso, then sit on a bench, and enjoy the view of the famous Medici fountain in the middle of the garden.
The weather was perfectly sunny then until it started raining hard as we made our way to the Notre Dame, crossing the bridge by the River Siene, through the bustling Latin Quarters, and up to the La Basilique du Sacré Coeur, found at the summit of Montmartre.
Old soul, modern mind
The city’s veins run through Greek, classical, Art Nouveau, modern, contemporary art, and architecture. But what you will love about this city is that the buildings here are just renovated and reconstructed, rather than demolished.
For example, a McDonald’s store there would be housed in an old baroque styled building. In this way, the city is able to preserve its culture and heritage while still being a forefront city of nouveau ideas.
Le Coeur of Art
In the home of famous artists, we followed the impressionist painter Claude Monet and we traced back to his home in Giverny. Here, we found his inspiration for his famous paintings, drawn by his water lily ponds surrounded by a garden filled with peach carnations, blue tulips, and red roses.
After, we headed to his colorful house: a blue tiled kitchen, a bright yellow dining room, and a Japanese art-filled living room.It was a painting in itself with all the colors.
We also visited the Musée de l’Orangerie, where the famous Nympheas are displayed around a white oval room. Eight massive paintings cover this whole area, so you can just sit in the middle and have a view of the same Giverny garden he drew his inspiration from.
When in France, try to take the road less traveled. Yes, enjoying a baguette by the Eiffel tower, posing a Robert Lagnon shot by the Louvre Pyramid, strolling along the Champs-Élysées, and crossing Napoleon’s Arc De Triomphe is a must.
But the city has so much to offer than that. Do keep an open mind when conversing with the French, and a hungry tummy when looking for side street restaurants, where the locals eat.
So whether you want to indulge in duck au vin, pray in the Miraculous medal in Rue du Bac, or just get lost in the arrondissements, which are little “neighborhoods” filled with Parisians in their local markets, there is a whole city to discover in Paris.
Paris, a luminescent jewel of France, is a beauty in itself with its stunning architecture and rich heritage. It is, as we would say, the best city to get lost in.
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