Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Paris, the other city of Love

Finally I made it to the magnificent Paris!  Yes, after having a Paris themed bedroom growing up this has been a dream of mine.  Every time someone I know goes there, I always get a little gift but finally I got a taste of my own!  Four of us from Drexel went for the weekend with a student tours program which included a cheap bundled package of hotel, transportation and tour guide.  Since, our trip was by a bus, (yes we went over the water in a bus that was inside of a train!), we had an overnight ride arriving at the Arc de Triomphe for sunrise!  Surprisingly, I was somewhat alert, maybe more or less just excited to get off the bus and be in Paris.  No other time would we be able to take such great pictures and without all of the crowds.  Our tour continued on the coach around famous streets such as Champs Elysees where you will find all the major retailers and designers.  We made a stop outside of Musee de l'Armee with an opportunity to just take in the morning air.  We began to see the Eiffel Tower and everyone rose out of their seats.
Arc de Triomphe
Musee de l'Armee garden

After our overview of the area, we were able to split off and go to the places we were most interested in visiting.  We stopped just along the river Seine in front the Eiffel Tower.  After gazing in amusement at Eiffel Tower we had some authentic French treats for breakfast and headed off.  First to Musee du Lourve where the famous Leonardo da Vinci painting, the Mona Lisa,  is located.  The museum holds a lot of Renaissance art including huge collection of religious paintings.  Unlike other museums, the Lourve was quite full of other tourists so you cannot look at art with the ease one my typically have.  The Mona Lisa hung on a wall alone with crows of people, we patiently just waited till we made it to the front.  Even from there we were several yards apart.  Many of the paintings were recognizable from previous art history classes which made it very exciting to see them in such proximity.  After we were off to the Notre Dame Cathedral.  This is another huge tourist attraction for the beautiful architecture and exquisite stained class windows.  One of my favorite parts of the day was the love lock bridge because it's not as well known.  There are many different bridges across the Seine, each unique in their own way but this one was just a plain fenced rail. Lovers in Paris have given the bridge new meaning by securing their locks of love all along the fence, some written on with marker, others engraved, each its own.  I must say, I'm a sucker for love.
Eiffel Tower at night
Our day ended with a tour along the river Seine where we were able to see all of the beauty Paris is known for from a better perspective.  However, after returning to our hotel we said we have to go back and see the tower at night!  If you were curious why people fall in love, see the Eiffel Tower at night.  It is lit up until about 12:30 pm and something you must see for yourself! Amazing experience and I really cannot wait to go back soon!

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