Saturday, April 27, 2013

Trip to Paris, France

On Saturday, Nikki and I headed to Paris! We stayed until Tuesday when we took a flight back to Sweden. It was an amazing trip, and we got to see so much!

In front of Notre Dame
When we arrived, David picked us up from the bus depot, and we took a driving tour around the city. Then, we parked the car and proceeded to walk down Avenue des Champs-Élysées to see the Arc de Triumph, the gardens, the Louvre, and the obelisk. The architecture and everything is so breathtaking - wish the United States had something to compare to all of the buildings in Paris. Afterwards, we went to the Notre Dame Cathedral; Mass was being held by the Archbishop so we could go inside and walk around, and listen to it all in French which was cool. The cathedral is celebrating its 850th year. By the end of everything for the day, we had a delicious dinner at a small French cafe, and it was time for bed.

In the Hall of Mirrors at Versaille
On Sunday, we woke up early and decided to go to Château de Versailles for the morning. The palace is absolutely beautiful. We took a tour of the palace going from room to room and getting to see all of the art and history from the French royalty. I used to love reading about Marie Antoinette, so it was so cool to see the famous paintings of her, and then their personal rooms. There is so much history at the palace which I love.

Grande Arche

We stopped at a Farmer's Market on our way back to the apartment for lunch. The food there was so delicious - I love being able to get fresh breads, baked goods, fruits, and vegetables all right there for you to have.Then we went to see the Grande Arche - a modern version of the Arc de Triumph.It is also on Avenue des Champs-Élysées just like the Arc de Triumph so from the distance standing under the Grande Arche, we can see the Arc de Triumph.

On the Seine River cruise
Before ending the day with a trip to the Basilica, we went on a boat cruise of the Seine River to see all of the important landmarks. In an hour trip we cruised the Seine River going by the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, Notre Dame Cathedral, the Natural History Museum, the Musée d'Orsay, and more. It was a fun way to see Paris from another point of view on the river.

In front of Sacré-Cœur Basilica
To end our day on Sunday, Nikki and I headed to the Sacré-Cœur Basilica or the Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Paris. It is so special because the Basilica sits atop a hill (the highest point in the city), and you can overlook the entire city of Paris. There were so many people just sitting on the church grounds hanging out, listening to music, and enjoying the gorgeous view. The interior of the dome was so incredible- the ceiling has such amazing artwork. It was unbelievable. It was a gorgeous scene, but what was so special was how it was created - it looked as if it was pieced together with small pieces of tile all to create one amazing masterpiece.

View from Sacré-Cœur Basilica

With Monday as our last day in Paris, our goal for the day was to start with the Eiffel Tower and end with the Louvre, and that's exactly what we did. We first went to the Eiffel Tower - it is so impressive, and you just don't understand until you see it in person. I've seen so many pictures and the sight has been in so many movies, but it's totally different once you actually are there at the Eiffel Tower. Nikki and I made the decision to be healthy/cheaper, and to climb the stairs to go up the Eiffel Tower. We took the 780 stair trek all the way up to the second overlook. Then, to go to the very top, we took the elevator for another 40 stories. So exhausting to go all the way up, but so worth it! The view was unbelievable, and you get to feel like you are on top of the world. It was fun to be able to search and find all of the different tourist spots from the Tower.
Hilltopper pride on top of the Eiffel Tower

Outside of the Louvre
After going to the Eiffel Tower, we ended our day with exploring the Louvre, one of the most famous art museums most known for housing Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa.  One of the best things was that we were able to get into the museum for free! The museum is so expansive- on our boat tour the guide told us that if we went to the museum everyday going to each and every article in the museum's collection for 30 seconds each, it would take a total of 3 months. Needless to say, we did not get to see everything in the Louvre, but that just means we will have to take another trip back to Paris to try to see more! My favorite parts of the museum were the Egyptian collection, the sculptures, and the Renaissance paintings. It amazes me how skilled all of the artists had to be in order to complete such works of art. I definitely do not have the skill whatsoever!

Hanging out with the Mona Lisa painting
Overall, the whole trip to Paris, France was an unbelievable experience that I will never forget! It was so rewarding and educational at the same time. As someone who loves history, I loved being able to go to the sights that I have read so much about, and to learn even more history behind such an amazing city. Again, a big thank you goes out to David who let Nikki and I stay with him for the entire time, and showed us many of the sights around Paris!

1 comment:

  1. Hi Morgan,
    It sounds like you had a wonderful time. Your trip to Paris brings back happy memories.