For the second post in my Onward series, we are off to Paris! Ah, the City of Lights. L’amour. Art. Eiffel Tower. Beautiful people. Beautiful pastries. (yum!) Planning for our upcoming trip will be tricky because our time there is sadly limited. With just under 3 days to see it, it’s gonna be a crash course to take it all in. So where do I want to go?
Topping my list is The Louvre. An obvious must-see for any art (really, culture) fan. After studying art history in college, I can’t physically imagine a trip to Paris that doesn’t include the Musée du Louvre. That being said, our version will feature the most economical, purposeful, trip-down-galleries-cuz-we’re-walking-so-fast, visit.
Top draws for me:
- (surprising no one) The Mona Lisa by Leonardo daVinci
- Grande Odalisque by Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres
- Venus de Milo by Alexandros of Antioch
- Oath of the Horatii by Jacques-Louis David
I’ve also heard great things about the Musée de l’Orangerie which houses Monet’s legendary Water Lilies along with other well curated works by the Impressionists.
Last museum (promise) is the Musée d’Orsay for its glorious Impressionist collection. It’s located inside a former train station (Gare d’Orsay) built at the turn of the 20th century. Fitting considering the impressionists were fascinated with the urbanization of Paris and how much trains factored into period.
I also want to check out the Palace of Versailles located just outside the city. Such a luxurious property is not to be missed, including a tour of the expansive gardens.
The Hall of Mirrors seems like it would be a good time, maybe I’ll wear heels and pretend to be Louis XIV preening down the corridor (probably not). I love history so going to the Palace where the “Sun King” held court and stood as a symbol of the royals’ absolute power until the French Revolution would be a treat.
Back in the city, the neighborhood I most want to explore is Montmartre. After watching Amélie, I savored cracking crème brûlée and skipping stones. Visiting the whimsical carousel at the foot of Sacré Cœur would be delightful. Amélie is as much a love story to Paris and the French joie de vivre as it is a romance between lovers. I’d imagine myself a wide-eyed ingénue, baguette in hand, viewing the Moulin Rouge (which is located in this neighborhood) and gracefully ambling through the picturesque French rues.
If we have time, I’d love to take a tour of the Catacombs underneath the city. These underground tombs hold the remains of some 6 million Parisians, moved there in the mid- to late 1700s. The city faced the dual problem of overflowing cemeteries and cave-ins from poorly erected and subsequently abandoned mines left over from the medieval period. To solve both issues, city officials erected these underground mausoleums to reinforce the city and provide more space for the remains. Over time, the catacombs became a (somewhat morbid) tourist attraction.
At the end of the day, I will be happy simply to stroll along the banks of the Seine, eat my weight in buttery, flaky pastries, and gaze at the twinkling lights of the Eiffel Tower as I enjoy my own form of joy. After all, I’ll be in PARIS!
Have you been to Paris? What were your most memorable experiences? I welcome any recommendations in the comments below. I can’t wait to see it for myself!