5 min readA Christmas in Paris

March 2, 2017

Making a last minute decision to go to Paris for Christmas is a good choice. Paris has always been on my bucket list of places to visit in Europe.

The world renowned city of love – Paris, is known for its romantic charm in endearing lovers and tourists alike. After living in Milan for 6 months, I can say the architecture design of buildings in Paris and Milan are very similar. Paris is another ancient and gothic city of its own, like Milan.Before my trip to Paris last December, I would have argued I had basic knowledge of French. I mean, I spent couple of my time taking French lessons while growing up, I understand ‘Merci beaucoup’, ‘Come cava’, ‘Je mapelle….’, ‘Bonjour’ and some other basic phrases.

After my four days in Paris, I don’t know if I can still confidently argue I have basic knowledge of the language. The indigenes speak with a chronic accent that makes ‘come cava’ totally not understandable.

Although I spent only four days in Paris, I could successfully visit some of the major tourist attractions in Paris, with the help of a great friend I made. I will be telling you about my trip using subheadings.

  • Gare Du Nord

I stayed at Gare Du Nord, which is about 15 minutes away from the City Centre by Metro. Gare Du Nord houses one of the largest train stations in Paris, which made it very easy for me to connect to the airport and City Centre from here.

This location is perfect for a budget traveller who doesn’t want to pay so much for a hotel in the city centre. I got a direct train from Charles de Gaulle Airport to Gare Du Nord for 9.60 Euros.

  • Musee du Louvre

After sleeping till noon on my first day, I lazily dragged myself off the bed, reminding myself I wasn’t in Paris to sleep! The first place I visited was Musee du Louvre.

The world’s largest museum and a historic monument in Paris. The museum has an open square in the middle with transparent cones and waterfalls.

I spent about one hour here, savouring the beauty of the white sculptures through the transparent cones. I also found the sound of the waterfall very soothing.

  • Musee des Arts Decoratifs

I fond the Sculptures scattered around the front of the building very engaging and amusing. Not a lot I can say, see for yourself below:

  • Champs Elysees Arc De Triomphe

This as one of my most favourite spots of all. The market is endlessly long, colourful and with a lot of activities to feed the eyes. Eating, shopping, sightseeing (especially for kids) and much more to do. The Christmas spirit was made vibrantly alive with the cool decorations!

  • Sacre Couer de Montmartre

Nested up the hills, the trail was worth the climb. From up here, the view is breath-taking. The friendly weather made it more enjoyable, as it was a bright, warm and sunny day. The main attraction is here is the church – The Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Paris, dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

  • Fontaine Saint Michel

The Fontaine Saint-Michel is a monumental fountain located in Place Saint-Michel in the 5th arrondissement in Paris. It was constructed in 1858–1860 during the French Second Empire by the architect Gabriel Davioud. I got a fairly good picture with me posing in front of the fountain.

  • Port De Solferino

I took a boat cruise on the waters of Port De Solferino. While on the cruise, I could sight the Eiffel tower from afar. I also saw Radio France and a miniature of the Statue of Liberty on the waters.

  • Grande Roue de Paris

The greatest courage I could summon was to take a picture of it, and in front of it. The Grande Roue de Paris is a 100-metre (328 ft) tall Ferris wheel built in 1900 for the Exposition Universelle world exhibition at Paris.

  • Paris Eiffel Tower

Objectively, the Paris Eiffel Tower is quite overrated. I was very excited about seeing the Eiffel Tower but when sighted from afar I was a bit disappointed and confused. It stood lifeless, just like any other piece of casted metal – it looked more like a brown mast. With the lights on at dark, it’s a magnificent structure, but at day – it’s lifeless.

Other things I want to tell you about my trip:

The Swindling Photographer at Louvre:
I am very aware how much tourists can be easily exploited in unfamiliar city. I was almost swindled of 25 Euros for two pocket sized pictures that looked like they were taken in the 60s. The photographer intentionally gave the wrong information at the beginning of the photo session. He hiked the price afterwards, acting like I misunderstood him because I don’t speak French.

Milan has the best Cappuccino:
Not to be biased, the first and only cappuccino I tasted in Paris was awful. Maybe I should have tried other places right? But I made up my mind not to after the bitter experience. I mean the first cappuccino I had in Milan was fabulous!

Watch out for the ‘Deafies’:
I read about the deaf and dumb, I didn’t just think I could meet them in person. A bunch of ladies approached me on the street acting deaf, they were trying to persuade me to sign a document. They were acting deaf, trying to communicate with signs. I said ‘Sorry, I don’t understand signs’, and she replied with the ‘Sign’.

It’s easy to hijack a man:
Paris is a city of love. The men here are aware of these, as such they are ever readily available to carry on the legacies! They lurk everywhere seeking for solo travelers to please!

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