So I started typing this entry as I wait in queue for my flight to Lisbon. If you’re reading this, then congrats to me! Looks like I got to finish it…
As someone who grew up in the Philippines, I think it’s fair to say that it’s quite common for Europe to be on my bucket list before I turn 30. Lucky me, I was “x” years shy of 30 when I first set foot in Europe. My sister and I initially planned to go to Italy, then maybe stop by Paris for a day or two. Due to unforeseen events that I won’t bore you with, it took me a while before I applied for a Schengen visa, and my “complications” didn’t allow us ample time to plan for a trip to Italy and France. I received my visa 2 days before our flight, and we booked our hotels literally less than 48 hours before our scheduled departure.
Anyway, I’d like to think that it all worked out in the end. I’ve heard stories from people who visited Paris on how “mediocre” it is compared to what the world portrays it to be. So naturally, I braced myself for this so called mediocrity, but sorry world, Paris still blew me away.
I love how the city was preserved to maintain its old charm. As my sister has put it, it’s something you can photograph in black and white, and make it believable that it was taken centuries ago.
It’s cute and touching how couples seem to be in an instant romantic mood when they’re in the city of love. Here are some snapshots of “Lovers In Paris”:
The main touristy spots also did not disappoint. First, of course, the Eiffel Tower which is just a beauty anytime of the day, literally.
The Louvre Museum. Simply magical. Now, I know that most tourists may be contented to just snap a photo from the outside (the pyramids), but if you ever find yourself visiting Paris, the museum is definitely a must-see.
I have very little knowledge of art and to be honest, I probably don’t even know how to appreciate nor interpret most work, but seeing all the artwork inside the Louvre gave me a weird sensation of being in an entirely different world. I felt almost nostalgic of my high school years when I read and studied about gods and goddesses.
Sainte-Chapelle. This creation is just magnificent. Each piece is an intricate work of art and you’d surely be left in awe.
Musée d’Orsay. You will see some of Vincent Van Gogh’s masterpieces here. I grew up listening to my Dad singing Don McLean’s Vincent, one of his favourites, and so seeing the “Starry Night Over the Rhône” in person was a very special moment for me.
We also took a side trip to see the Château de Versailles. The place is absolutely gorgeous and definitely worth seeing. However, be prepared to wear flats and pack up your patience for the long queue.
And for my personal bucket list, I had to see Shakespeare and Company bookstore which was featured in my all time favourite movie, Before Sunset.
My sister and I didn’t spend a lot of time in Paris, as we opted to spend most of our time in France in Provence. Now that place definitely deserves a separate entry, so I’ll save it for the next time I find the drive to write again.
Paris will always hold a special place in my heart. That time when I visited wasn’t the best time in my life, but I am glad that I sucked it up and went ahead with the trip. As overrated as some might think Paris is, for me, it’s a place that I’d certainly want to go back to.
Travel date: May 2017