Pictures and a Paragraph (or four) on Paris

Paris. I didn’t spend long here–by the time our severely delayed ferry arrived into Calais and we managed to find our way to the city, my friend Rachael and I really only had about a day and a half to spend exploring before we had to leave to drive back. However, the time we spent in the revered city was still worth the effort.

A boat trip along the Seine was our first adventure, helping to orient us to the landmarks of the city so that later we were able to find major landmarks without much difficulty. Then the Eiffel Tower, where we ended up waiting in line for over three hours to see the top. For those who have never been, it is my opinion that the view from the very top is not worth the wait. The view from the second floor still allows you to see the entire spread of Paris, in better detail and outside (an advantage the top does not have), so if you’re debating whether or not to spend that extra five euros and three hours, don’t. However, do go up, and make sure you stop by at some point to just look at it at night. When it’s lit up, it’s gorgeous, and it has a dazzling light show (which, I know, sounds cheesy and like something from Disneyland, but it’s not) which is really cool.

In addition to this iconic monument, we also met up with one of my friends from Pacific and visited the Arc de Triomphe and the neighboring shopping central, the Avenue des Champs Elysees (one of those great places to go shopping where everything’s cool to look at, but too expensive to buy, so you won’t actually spend any money), Notre Dame, and (my favorite) the D’Orsay Museum. There’s something really cool about being able to stand feet away from paintings and other artwork that you’ve seen and loved in textbooks for years, and the D’Orsay happens to house an impressive collection of my favorite genres of art–impressionism and post-impressionism. Although it may not host the most realistic looking works, I’ve always been drawn to the pieces of artists like Van Gogh and Seurat as they go beyond portraying images to portraying feelings, and it is this emotive quality that makes these works of art, well… art. And powerful.

So Paris–it’s a powerful city. Kind of like the art contained in it, the allure that it has didn’t seem to be as much from the individual components of the city themselves, but the attitude and feeling that the city encompassed. The architecture was beautiful as was the Seine, and the food… it’s divine (no–sorry, I didn’t try the snails; I thought I might, but then when the lady at the table next to us got them, they looked difficult to eat and bore an uncanny resemblance to mucus, so I decided to go for a salmon instead). But what makes Paris that city that people fall in love is the atmosphere of elegance and sophistication mixed with the cool hip freshness that permeates the heart of the place and the people, not just the buildings and the galleries. All in all, a very cool place to visit, and perhaps one day I’ll return (never got to see the Louvre, or the catacombs, or the Shakespeare and Company bookshop, so that’s at least one more visit).

Amanda

 

 

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