Wednesday, December 7, 2011

In the Land of Pepe Le Pew

Visited Paris in June of 2009. Took the TGV train from Stuttgart which cost 200 Euros roundtrip. I think it took us three hours to get to Paris but then we didn't mind since it was way cheaper than flying.

A statue in the Luxembourg Garden
One of the many statues in the Luxembourg Garden.
Caption: Dammit, standing here the whole day fully exposed
with this tiny thing is bad enough.
Now this pigeon decides to poop on me? Why me???

Stayed at the Hotel Excelsior Latin which was in the middle of the Latin Quarter (5th arrondissement). The hotel was walking distance to the Pantheon, Louvre, Luxembourg Garden, Notre Dame, Centre Pompidou and the Sorbonne.

Notre Dame at night
Notre Dame illuminated at night. 

Stained Glass Rose Window in Notre Dame
Rose window in the North transept in Notre Dame with the
theme of the Old Testament. 

Inverter Pyramid in Louvre
La Pyramide Inversee, which is a skylight,  in the Caroussel du Louvre. 

Sacre-Coeur Basilica-Montmartre
Sacre-Coeur Basilica, located in the summit of Montmartre,
is the highest point in the city.

Unlike our trip to Barcelona, we decided to be all-touristy in the city of love. This included walking along the Moulin Rouge district, viewing the city from Montmartre, going to the Eiffel Tower, walking up Champs-Elysee where all the high-end shops are, visiting the Louvre, etc.

Eiffel Tower
Eiffel Tower

Eiffel Tower
Eiffel Tower from below.
Walking along the Champs-Elysees towards the Arc de Triomphe 

Arc de Triomphe
Arc de Triomphe

Moulin Rouge
Moulin Rouge

A cute little fueling station on one of the streets in the Pigalle district.

If you're in Paris for a limited time, I suggest you visit the Musee D'Orsay rather than the Louvre. If you are a true art lover, you would need more than a day to see everything in the Louvre. If you're going there just for the sake of saying you've been there, then just pick a specific section that you really are interested in. I'm guessing most people would want to see the Mona Lisa. Prepare to be disappointed though since the Mona Lisa room is normally packed with tourists and the painting itself is not even that big. Very difficult to get up close and take a good photo.

Mona Lisa by Da Vinci
The famed Mona Lisa portrait of Da Vinci.
Among all the things we did,  I would recommend that you take the Seine River Cruise and a day trip to visit the Chateau de Versailles. The cruise costs about 10 Euros if I'm not mistaken. To go to Versailles, just hop on a train headed outside Paris. You'll be there in less than an hour. Another suggestion is to grab a baguette sandwich in one of the many delis in the city and hang out by the Seine or the Luxembourg Garden to people watch.

If uncertain of which area in Paris to stay, check out this map as it describes the differences among each neighbourhood.

More pics from the trip will be posted soon!