The City of Light – Paris Day 1

The birthplace of the Age of Enlightenment and the center of education, philosophy, and learning, Paris is a city with many notable monuments, with the famous Eiffel Tower being the most visited paid monument in the world…

Our trip to Paris has been planned for over six months, giving us plenty of time to prepare for the pinch in our wallets and the beautiful sights to photograph. But there was one thing no one could be prepared for…

From the moment we stepped onboard the Eurostar, with people packed like sardines on the metro, cars at a standstill in the roads, and heaving crowds covering every inch of the pavement, Paris certainly takes your breath away. As in you’re sucking in your chest so much that you can’t get any air into your lungs.

While riding a crowded elevator, we stood beside a Parisian showing the city to her English friends, and in her own words, “Paris is not good for those who are claustrophobic.” 

Thanks for the warning. 

What the city lacks in the understanding of personal space, it more than makes up for in culture. With Gothic style churches, world class museums, and the UNESCO World Heritage site running along the river Seine, it would take years to explore everything Paris has to offer. After all, it would take three months to visit every painting in the Louvre, and that’s just the beginning.

We had four days so we had to make every second count. We stumbled out of the Gare du Nord, took a taxi to the hotel (shameful, I know, but desperate times etc.), dumped our baggage, and set out to visit the symbol of Paris.

Built to mark the 1889 World Fair and originally intended to be a temporary monument, today the Eiffel Tower is a global cultural icon and one of the most recognisable structures in the world, despite the initial criticisms by France’s leading artists for its design.

The wrought iron lattice tower stands on the Champ de Mars and is the tallest structure in Paris. Although it costs to take a lift or the stairs to the viewing platforms, it’s free to photograph. So that’s exactly what we did.

We took the metro to Trocadéro, the site of the Palais de Chaillot, and spent the evening wandering through the gardens to capture the scenery with our cameras. Afterwards, we ate in a restaurant nearby, and took the metro back to the hotel.

With Paris’ most iconic landmark ticked off our list, that left the next day to head back in time to the place where the medieval city was refounded, the Île de la Cité.

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