Last month I spent a weekend in Paris and crammed just about as much touristy stuff into 36 hours as possible.
Immediately upon arriving by train we tried to visit the Catacombs, but we walked and walked and never came upon the end of the line to get in, so we reluctantly gave up. Our disappointment didn’t last long, as our next stop was the Centre Pompidou, an amazingly huge modern art museum. The view from the observing deck was spectacular.
Next we went to Notre Dame, but again the lines to go inside were a bit long considering our limited amount of time, so we admired from the outside.
Then we saw the Arc de Triomphe, the monument to the soldiers of the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars; it also houses the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier from World War I.
By the end of the afternoon we made our way to the Eiffel Tower. At first I was slightly underwhelmed, but the closer we got the more impressed I became. The architecture is truly stunning, and it is a magnificent sight at night. Of course, we did the touristy photos, picking it up by its tip and giving it the ol’ Godzilla treatment.
The second day we woke up early and went directly to the Louvre to beat the lines. It was practically empty when we got there, which made for some quality photo taking.
We spent the majority of the day there, and managed to see several exhibits, including ancient Rome, Greece, Egypt and China. One of the first major items we saw was the Code of Hammurabi. We also managed to see the Venus de Milo, the Mona Lisa, the statue of Ramses, and a few sculptures by Michelangelo. The Renaissance wing was impressive, with paintings as big as the outer walls of my house.
We relaxed in a park for the rest of the afternoon before catching the train home. Paris is certainly a beautiful city, but it’s huge, crowded and a bit smelly. I would love to go back though, now that I got all the tourist stuff out of the way, and take the time to truly appreciate the beauty and sense of history that defines this city.
Don’t forget to check out the links to my photo sets from around the city!