Day 6 & 7: Paris – Europe 2012

So I feel I must apologize, beforehand, for the delay in this post and the fact that I’m going to be posting the two Paris days as one post.

These past two days have been insanely busy.  As I had said on Twitter, I think I have done almost everything a tourist could have done in three days.  Paris is such a beautiful place, and I can confidently say that nothing I write in this blog could describe how breathtaking France really is.  Just take a look at the photos below.

Confession time.  I had made a pledge to myself at the beginning of my vacation that I would make an effort to put down the technology throughout my European journeys, but I find myself still picking up my phone to search for free Wi-Fi.  As a side note, let me warn fellow travellers that Wi-Fi hotspot, even with the word “Free” in it, probably isn’t; and if you’re looking for free Internet, bee-line over to the local Apple Store.

As I had said to one of my friends via text, I can definitely see myself retiring here in the future.  I am in love with their lifestyle, architecture, food, and landscapes that make Paris unique from the rest of the world.  I lugged my DSLR around the city with me, and alone I think I captured close to 1000 photos over three days.  Mind you, I weeded them down to around 200.  Some of which, I’ve posted below.

The list above gives you a taste of some of the places I visited, and is the tip of the iceberg.  Throughout my few days here, I visited the following:

  • Arc de Triomphe
  • Château de Versailles
  • Eiffel Tower
  • La Seine
  • Champs Élysées
  • Le Louvre

Paris has been somewhere I’ve always dreamt of visiting, and that became reality this week.  Upon setting foot, I immediately noticed a remarkable difference in the way of life, as compared to Toronto.

Architecture and art are really important to them.  It’s not just a busy hustle-and-bustle city like New York, but it’s a city that prides itself on its beauty.  You’re constantly walking into another palace or monument that will blow you away.  Paris is the home to the Louvre, as well as a plethora of other art galleries.  Coming to Paris will teach you that art is so much more than just the Mona Lisa.  Our visit alone in the Louvre took a day, so that goes to show how much you can learn from art.

Traffic will definitely not go unnoticed.  It is one backlog after another.  And to add on top of that, the motorcycles and bicycles are weaving in and out at all times, with pedestrians running frantically.  I must also say that Paris is quite a large city, and without my GPS, I would have been lost.  I tend to be an excellent navigator, but constantly looking at such great monuments, they eventually gave me the illusion that I was going in circles around the block.  Luckily, the people in Paris are very hospitable, and are more than happy to help you navigate your way.

For the foodies, this is a must-see place.  My Web Editor, Suzanne Ellis, warned me about the imminent love the food was going to cause – and she was right.  Macarons, coq-au-vin, fresh baguettes, hand-made crêpes, and cheese!   Far too much to go into detail.  The best plan-of-attack for me was to simply talk to locals.  They don’t bite, and they always come through with those hidden gems that will blow you away.  If you go travelling, try it out.  It never fails.

Living in Paris (or even travelling, for that matter) isn’t cheap by any means, but it is an experience that you’ll never forget.  Yes, it is a very romantic place – I mean just imagine cruising down the Seine with your loved one, or going on a night discovery tour at night with the beautiful street lights.  It’s also great if you’re just willing to have an open mind and learn about a new culture, and believe me, every person you talk to will have a different opinion and experience.

I had a great time, and will definitely be returning.  I don’t know how many times I’ve said that on this vacation, but I mean it!

Reims, France is on the list tomorrow, and then staying the evening in Luxembourg.  Au revoir!

About Winston Sih

Winston is currently a freelance technology and travel broadcast journalist, consultant, and is the creator and founder of Master Travellr—Canada’s destination for travel news, guides, and budget recommendations.

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