Highlights from the City of Love

Paris has been a dream of mine since I can remember. It’s the romance, the history, the drama… it all adds to the allure of the dreamy Paris. I had the great opportunity to spend six days wandering through the streets, marveling at the beautiful old architecture juxtaposed with ultra-modern shopping malls and fashion. Even though I spent less than one week there, I can clearly see why it’s dubbed the “City of Love”.

Highlights from the city of love

On my first full day in Paris, I went on a free walking tour. We passed Notre Dame, the Seine, and the Louvre, to name a few. Even though it was bitterly cold that morning, the beauty of the city did not fail to blow me away (almost literally, with that wind!). One of the famous attractions along the Seine includes this lovely tradition pictured below: locking you and your SO’s love together. The locks used to be placed on a different bridge, but because it’s older and more fragile, the locks are now placed on a more modern, sturdy bridge. The idea is that you write you and your lover’s name on the lock, attach it to the bridge, and then throw the key into the Seine, thereby locking your love together forever.

The downside? The police come and clip off all the locks about once every five weeks, because there are just too many lovers in love with this idea.

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Two friends and I visited the Palace of Versailles, located in the city of Versailles… which is actually not ~super close~ to Paris. Long story short, we spent a veeeeeery long time getting out there because we wanted to avoid expensive trains and shuttles. Just take the shuttle, lol. The palace was absolutely beautiful though, and completely worth the trek out there! I mean, just look at this ceiling.

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I enjoyed a lot of wine (well, a lot for me!) and macaroons. Paris is full of these beautiful, ornate little restaurants and cafes. I loved just wandering around the city and finding myself sitting for an afternoon espresso in the sun. The macaroons were so decadent… so much better (and more expensive) than in America. I must’ve spent 15 euros on macaroons alone. When you pass a display window with colorful macaroon trees and golden boxes… you have to stop. It’s a law 😉

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I had the pleasure of visiting the Louvre, as well. On the first Sunday of the month each month, many attractions in Paris are free, so I didn’t even have to pay a dime! Be aware though–if you do decide to take advantage of this deal as I did, know that you must get there as early as possible to avoid a line. I got there an hour after it opened and only had to wait forty minutes, but I would imaging it would be worse later in the day!

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I of course had to grab a photo of the (quite underwhelming) Mona Lisa.

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I also entered the museum through a ~secret entrance~. There are two on opposite sides of the building, as pictured below (not my photo):

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Photo credit: http://gogopixlibrary.com/secret+entrance+to+the+louvre

I definitely suggest this – you’ll still wait in line, you just won’t be waiting outside!

And finally, I saw the famous Eiffel Tower. What a breathtaking figure. The night I first arrived in Paris, a friend from my hostel and I took the underground metro to see it sparkle and I really just couldn’t believe it. Such an iconic piece right in front of me. It makes you feel pretty small, kind of like you’ll never be sad again, or something. To the people of Paris: do you know how lucky you are to see such beauty every single day?!

I think I captured it well during the week.

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Merci beaucoup, Paris. You have a huge piece of my heart, and I cannot wait to come back.
tess (1)

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