Aida Zabidi
Paris really is a city full of charm.

Staying in the La Defense district, it was fairly easy to get to the major attractions that we wanted to get to fairly easily. Mot of the city is linked up through a combination of buses and the metro, and despite still stuggling to figure out what the French are saying most of the time, the stations are quite clearly marked on the lines.

The beautiful thing about Paris is the amazing architecture - very classc, uniform eighteeth century buildings all through the city. That and their liberal smattering of gardens, which are all beautifully sculpted and tended to. There's an old world charm that permeates throughout, despite the modern lifestyle, the buildings almost makes it seems like a different age.

At the Arc de Triomphe du Carousel
We picked up a couple of passes for the visit and had a basic itinerary for the best of it.

We started at the Louvre - after all, who visits Paris and doesn't do the Louvre?

There's something to be said about art - it really is incomparable until you've seen the paintings in real life. There's so much richness and depth to the paintings, and even to one as untrained as I was, it was quite easy to immerse myself in the paintings. The crowd was surprisingly not as bad as one would've thought it to be. I even managed to get a front row seat to the Mona Lisa - and despite the surprisingly small size, the Lady really is as enigmatic as she is rumoured to be. The identity of the Mona Lisa still has a lot of speculation surrounding her, and perhaps that itself adds to the whole mystery. Needless to say, it was a lovely experience as a whole, and we even got priority entry thanks to the fact that we had a baby with us.

At the French renaissance paintings.
The Louvre in itself is huge - with multiple floors divided into different displays. The African art was particularly intriguing as well, because so much of it seemed so modern and sleek, but was in fact many hundreds of years old. It was easy to forget that the Louvre also houses art from different parts of the world, because it is so famed for its French and Italian paintings, so the displays of Islamic art and Asian art was a pleasant experience as well.

At one of the sections of the Louvre

Part of the charm of Paris really lies in the architecture. Walking through the city roads, it's a marvel to realize that so much of the city was built in the 1800s, and yet are so well maintained that they still stand today and make up most of Paris as it stands. It

We walked down the Champs Elysees to the Arc de Triomphe - between us and the stroller we probably took a good 45 minutes,  but it was just a lovely walk. The Arc de Triomphe literally is, along other things, a reminder of the wartime victories France has achieved, which is engraved along the Arc itself. Avenues run down with the Arc in the centre, which is very scenic from air, and a somewhat logical design. Cafes around the area are a mix of rustic French and occasional fast food chains.The French really like to people watch, judging how the chairs on all the cafes are angled outwards towards the street. It almost seems like the whole of Paris is one elaborate stage, and the customers of the cafe are patrons of whichever current thing is happening on the streets.

It's easy to forget yourself in Paris. You could just walk and walk and soak in the scene on the streets, and imagine that life was just passing you by. It's easy to fall in love with Paris.

Enjoying hot chocolate at Jardins de Tuileries
2 Responses
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  2. Until you watch a French mother let her kid take a dump on the side of the street. Oh and dog poo everywhere. Apart from that, yup. City of romance.


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