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Paris

02 June 2004

Staff

After taking the Eurostar from London we arrived 2 hours later in Gare du Nord station. Paris is a big city and it is of course great to walk around the entire city looking at famous monuments, museums, gardens, churches etc.  However the best option is the metro, in my opinion. There are stations everywhere and it is easy to figure out how to use it. Paris is big, there is so much to see and do. Here’s a overview of my best bits.

The Eiffel Tower

I don’t think there are many monuments that are as famous as the Eiffel Tower. By the metro to the Bir-Hakeim station, it’s just a walk over to the Tower along the Seine. About 700 steps up. The ride doesn’t take very long and it gives you some time to look at the view. The top level was crowded and you have to “fight” a bit to get a good view. But the view of the city is great indeed. We didn’t stay at the top that long as it was getting colder as the sun set. Getting down is much faster and within minutes we were on the ground looking up at the Tower again. At night it is illuminated and every hour the Tower comes alive.

The Louvre

Once a fortress to protect Paris against Viking raids and then extended by kings and emperors over centuries. Today the building itself is huge and it houses an enormous art collection. Apart from the Eiffel tower this must be another place that is hard to miss when in Paris. We decided to get an audio guide to help us along the way. The most famous painting of them all is the Mona Lisa by Leonard da Vinci. But there are so many other amazing paintings to look at and some are so big that you can look at them for quite some time and find something new all the time.

Arc de Triomphe & Champs-Elysées

If you stand in the Jardin des Tuileries outside the Louvre you can see the monument behind the obelisk at Place de la Concorde. It’s a great place as you get a very good view from the 50 meter rooftop terrace. On the roof there are a couple of fixed binoculars if you want to pay to get a look and there are boards identifying the different buildings that you see around Paris. And it is always fun to look down at the cars in the roundabout that goes around the monument. There are no lane markings so how they figure out where to drive is a mystery.

Notre Dame

The church is located on the island of Ile de la Cité which is believed to be the very cradle of Paris. We took a walk inside the church itself and it was pretty packed with other tourists. Around the church there are paintings, sculptures etc. but I guess the most impressive are the huge rose windows.

Don’t leave Paris without at least trying some legendary snails or frogs legs!!!!!

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