Arriving in Paris, my Mom had the brilliant idea of an apartment rather than a hotel. This made gathering information difficult as we didn't
know the language; however, I thankfully still remembered enough to get around. Along the way, we lived in the ghetto, Bienvenue le ghetto! was on a sign, and almost got robed about twice here. To be honest, I thought Paris
was a little overrated. Still, there was so much to see that you would need much more
than the week we had to se it all.
Anyways, here are the highlights from what we saw: The Louvre; there's
so much here it is insane and the Mona Lisa is overrated lol. The Winged Victory sculpture and the Hammurabi Code of Laws are a lot more refined than Mona Lisa and there's lots of Carvaggio paintings here if you
enjoy his shadow artwork. Venus de Milo was nice, but you could get lost
for hours there with all the Western European paint and artifacts from
Africa and Asia.
The Musee d'Orsay is much better museum overall and a great representation
of the glorious Impressionist artwork. From Renoir to Monet, to Van Gogh to
Cezanne there is a plethora of Impressionist works. Moving forward, Monet's water lillies are in the Orangenelle museum, while the Arc de
Triomphe, Champs Elysees and Eiffel Tower are all in a row and make the city aligned with much more consistent architecture than London. Lastly, while the Notre Dame is cool, the Saint Sulpice is more
intricate with it's arches, book of Genesis sculpting, and stained glass.
I also have to give a lot of love to
the museum of Rodin; the guy who made the Thinker. His sculptures are in nearly every country, with a diverse range of work and the Gates of Hell is an amazing
compilation of all his work. The museum is outdoors, small, reflective, and much more manageable than most museums. This is unlike the war museum with Napoleon's
tiny grave and a whole lot of random information about French war.
The food in France was delightful. While my parents were more skeptical, the crepes, meat cheese & bread
combos, croque monsieurs, Oraginas, sparkling water, creme bruelle and more
Another highlight was going to Montmarte where you get the best views imo
of Paris at sunset by the Basilique de Sacre Couer; the whole scene is very Parisian in the
area and includes Amelie's cafe. We also went to Caan Normandy to see the
WW2 museum and the amazing 9/11 museum over there. Lastly, we went to the Palace of Versailles; the amount of money French monarchy and Marie
Antoinette put into their palace was crazy and I completely see why that Revolution happened.
Eventually we wound our way to Charles de Gaulle to NYC.
Rick Steve for the European advice.
*I must talk another line about the crepes; crepes
in Paris are like nothing you've experienced. Crepes with nutella share a
special place in my heart as one of the greatest things I've ever eaten
*Fountains in Versailles play music at
*Centre de Pompidou known as the inside
out museum which looks absurd. There were two different types of buskers there: an awesome lady
on a djiredoo, you know those aboriginal long horns that make cool sounds, and an old lady playing one cord on a broken violin, who only stopped
when someone dropped an euro. It was hilarious!
*The Panthenon, which I visited when my
parents were a mess after we almost getting swindled over traveler's checks, had the
graves of Victor Hugo, Les Miserables, and Voltaire.
*In Pere LaChaise Cemetery, I saw even more famous dead people had George Bizet, Carmen
opera creator - the old guy that told us how to get there disappeared when we
turned around...weird - Oscar Wilde, write on it with lipstick and ruin the stone, Seurat , pointilism painter, and Jim Morrison, yes from the Doors.
*When I finally had my croque monsieur, grilled cheese with ham - simply awesome - I observed a couple just chilling
at the cafe and eating - that's Parisian, that's what they do, and I took pictures
*Tabacs are where you get info and
cigarettes - FYI they don't really exist anywhere else since it's so specific
*My dad and his French was hilarious
telling homeless people "ne parle vous" (I don't speak to you),
"ooo my tete" when his head hurt. My dad is a terrible foreigner
*The French Lady hitting on me before I
went to the Eiffel Tower, this would be the first foreign woman I charmed, and
it would not be the last. I charmed her with some French I knew "Tu est tres
belle" (You are very beautiful). The family in front let me in front of them to flirt with
her...what the hell? But hey even though the night was free, I wasn't that bold
in a foreign country, yet and told her that I had to see the Eiffel Tower. There are many women in this world, but only one Eiffel Tower
*On top of the Basilique de Sacre Couer
some French guys played Bob Marley hits as the beautiful sun set on Paris. Also, getting up there totally
wore out my mom on the stairs. Thus, if you can't tell already I knew I would need
some solo travels without Mom and Dad
*Purchasing food was interesting by getting
baguettes, just bread and wine, or sometimes cheese and meat. Simple Parisian
meal that works well.
*I personally enjoy the Paris subway, it's
strange but you can figure it out quickly. It also has bizarre ads and is similar to the NYC except with hubs
*In Caan, Normandy, the WW2 museum also
has an amazing 9/11 museum in which you see how much the rest of the world
actually likes us, along with strange accounts from the day; like last second
job switches, artifacts, Rodin statues, and full
accounts of the hijackers backgrounds. It's eerie