Photo Essay: Paris

“A walk in Paris will provide lessons in history, beauty, and in the point of life”
Thomas Jefferson

I don’t think I fully appreciated those words when I visited Paris in November 2010. It was at the end of a three-week trip to the UK with my sister and I think that I was tired and ready for my own bed. I think because I loved London so much I had expected to fall in love with Paris in the same way. I was disappointed when it didn’t happen. Everyone falls in love with Paris don’t they?

Hindsight is a wonderful thing, and now looking back on my photos I appreciate what I actually saw and did in those few days in Paris. I would love to go again to explore more of the city and perhaps, with a little more travel experience under my belt, see things with a new perspective. I have learned over the last four years of travelling that I’m not going to love every place I visit, and that’s ok.

In saying all of that, not liking the place didn’t stop me from taking a lot of photos in those few days. Here are some of them, you can find them and more on my Flickr page. I’ve tried to keep the number of photos down but honestly, it’s Paris! I’m amazed I kept it to this few.

Notre Dame

I had long wanted to see Notre Dame but I was kind of disappointed. I think because of the crowds of people and also in England I had been use to going into to these large, bright, airy cathedrals and churches, so when I got inside of Notre Dame, which is very dark, I didn’t fully take in and appreciate what was actually around me.

Notre Dame
Notre Dame facade, so much detail
Notre Dame
Beautiful stained glass windows
Notre Dame
Close up of the details on the outside of the Cathedral

Statues of Paris

Paris has a lot of statues. I mean A LOT of them. But they are awesome. They have so much detail on them and you could easily plan a day around trying to photograph as many of them as you can.

Paris
Taking photos while flying past on the hop on hop off bus means you don’t find out who the statue is
Paris
So much gold plate around Paris

Paris Paris

Architecture of Paris

There is some truly amazing architecture in Paris. You only have to look at the Arc de Triomphe alone to see that. That structure is extremely large (check out this photo if you don’t believe me and compare the size of the cars to the Arc!), but there is so much detail on all sides of the Arc that you really have to spend a bit of time studying it. Just don’t walk across the road. There is an underground tunnel that takes you to the middle of the Arc, you really don’t want to even try to navigate Parisian drivers!

Paris
The top of the Arc de Triomphe – amazing detail
Paris
Paris Opera – has busts and names of famous composers in its facade
Paris
Assemble Nationale

#ThisIsParis

Paris is full of iconic buildings, streets and even shops. You have to figure what your Paris is.

Paris
Beautiful carousel that has been around since the early 1900’s
Paris
Wonderfully ornate fountain in the Place de la Concorde
Paris
Sign of the times – Paris street signs

Inside Versailles

Versailles is over the top ostentatious. It is huge, colourful, a massive tourist trap but something that you really cannot miss on a trip to Paris. It isn’t far from the centre of the city and can easily be done in a day.

Versailles
The King’s Bedroom – very, very over the top!
Versailles
Even the simplest of things is carefully decorated
Versailles
The famous Hall of Mirrors, nothing prepared me for seeing this for myself. Just stunning!

Outside Versailles

Versailles
Did a half day tour to Versailles, which really wasn’t enough time to see both the huge interior and the gardens. I recommend spending a whole day there so you can see everything.
Versailles
The outside of the palace was just as ornately decorated as the interior
Versailles
Once I got over the ostentatious decorations, the palace is really an amazing place to visit

No I didn’t forget – last but certainly not least, the amazing Eiffel Tower

The first time I saw the Eiffel Tower, it was half shrouded in fog. That didn’t diminish my excitement nor did it take away the spectacle of this amazing feat of engineering. Luckily on the second day in Paris the Tower wasn’t so shy. However my absolute highlight, and one that still is in my top five travel experiences today, was seeing her sparkle her heart out at night. That is something that will never leave me.

My first real view.. bit foggy Eiffel Tower

So huge!!
So huge! The Eiffel Tower was a lot bigger than I thought it would be. It really is an incredible sight, no matter which way you look at it.
Sparkles
Highlight of the trip was seeing the Tower sparkle at night. I bloody froze as it was late November but it was totally worth the cold and the guys trying to sell us miniature Eiffel Towers. Photos do not do this event justice, you really have to see it to believe it.
Eiffel Tower
You really don’t forget an experience like this.

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