Paris is know as the city of love to many. My time in Paris was shared with my Mom, aunt, and uncle. I have not had much of a chance to travel with family, but this trip made me think that may be for the best. I generally just have different interests when traveling, which isn’t too surprising. However, some of my mom and I’s most memorable moments have been in places far from home.
Paris has many iconic places to visit. Some of my favorites moments from Paris, France included…
Strolling Love Lock Bridge: It was a lot of fun to look at all of the locks placed on the bridges over the years. I have seen “Love Locks” in various places including Paris, Budapest, and Prague. But because Paris is the city of love, there is something that seems just a bit more right about it. I witnessed a few couples locking their infinite love over the Seine River. One of these couples included my aunt and uncle who were celebrating their anniversary. As tradition has it, they threw the keys over into the river after writing their initials on the lock and locking it to the bridge.
Cathedral of Notre Dame: From the outside the cathedral has interesting architecture with an intricate history. My mom had downloaded Rick Steve’s audio guides to her Ipod, which explained some of the stories. Through different reigns, some elements of the cathedral were removed others were added. I strongly suggest downloading the Rick Steve’s audio guide for this monument (and some others).
The Eiffel Tower: I really enjoyed going to the Eiffel Tower during the evening when you can see it sparkle. Beginning at sunset until 1 am (2 am during the summer), the Eiffel Tower sparkles for the first five minutes of the hour, every hour. This is really a spectacular sight to see. I also suggest if you are in Paris to go to the top of the Tower. The city has very unique city structure which is best seen from above (this unique city structure is why we had some directional issues on some days).
The Louvre: The Louvre is a great experience, but make sure to go early! The museum is a busy place, and it is hard to fully enjoy its beauty when you can not even move through the crowd. Also, be aware that there is often crowds around the most famous pieces of art. I tend to get a bit agitated in large, impatient crowds. My best advice for a trip to the Louvre is to bring your patience!
Eat like a Parisian: Get a crepe! I love savory crepes, my favorite being spinach and feta cheese. There is also a great variety of sweet crepes. Drink some “vin” (wine)! You can find very good wine for very cheap, so indulge while you are there (just not too much!). Eat some fancy cheese with fresh baked bread! You can also buy good cheese for much cheaper than in the US. Plus, there are bakeries on almost every corner with huge selections of freshly baked bread. Have a nice café! I am a coffee fanatic especially when in Europe. Try out a café au lait (coffee with milk), my favorite.
The Rose Line: is the fictional name of the Paris Meridian by Priory of the Sion mythology. Markers denoting the line can be found throughout the city. The rose line has also be popularized by author Dan Brown in connection with the Priory of Sion. The Church, on the other hand, the Rose Line is seen as defining the exact time of Easter. There is a brass strip in the floor of the Saint-Sulpice Church, which shows the line. When I visited the Saint-Sulpice Church, there was a sign sitting next to the brass line rejecting the Priory of Sion myths in which Dan Brown wrote about.
Catacombs: The catacombs began being used as a burial site starting in 1786. Other cemeteries were becoming a source of infection, so they begin transferring the deceased to forever lie beneath the city of Paris. There are more details of this interesting history on their website. Visiting the catacombs themselves is a bit erie and heavy at the same time.
People watching in Parks: (a little more light hearted activity than the catacombs) I love people watching anywhere I go. It is fun and interesting to the see the differences between human interactions of different cultures. It is a great way to relax for a bit while also taking in your new surrounds.