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Paris and its wonders in English

Three days in Paris

Paris en banniere
It is always with great pleasure that with my favorite half we run away as a tourist in the capital for a weekend. Since the last 2-wheel world, a lot of things have changed. Cleanliness first, it looks like Mr. Clean has gone everywhere, little begging, little misery (visible) and icing on the cake the consideration of the tourist seems to have returned. Complete menus at 10-12 euros, entrecôtes that do not look like charred rubber, cold beer and an ounce of politeness that had disappeared from Paris. In conclusion, everything is back to normal, you can venture into the capital day and night, even by metro, in complete peace of mind. Follow our tour of the must-sees.

Triumphal arch

You will be surprised at how much we can do in a weekend! First, a logical visit to the most prestigious monuments. We are in August the traffic is fluid and the subways are always there to transport you when you feel tired. Above the Arc de triomphe decided by Napoleon I, it will be inaugurated in 1836 by King Louis-Philippe. An Unknown Soldier was buried under the Arc in 1921. The flame of remembrance is rekindled daily at the end of the day. It represents the commemoration of all the victories of the Napoleonic battles in the world.

Notre Dame

This evening awaits us the visit of Notre-Dame de Paris a few months before the spectacular fire which partially destroyed it. It will take five years of work to finally come back to life. Of Catholic worship, it is dedicated to the Virgin Mary, hence its name. Gothic in style, its two rose windows are among the largest in Europe. Since the Middle Ages it has been linked to many episodes in French life: coronation of Napoleon, funeral of Charles de Gaulle and so on. It is one of the most visited monuments in the world. Who has forgotten the novel by Victor Hugo "Notre-Dame de Paris" and the film which was drawn from it in 1956 by Jean Delannoy.

Tower Eiffel

This afternoon, head to the iconic Eiffel Tower named after its designer. It dates from 1889, built on the occasion of the Universal Exhibition. It is located on the banks of the Seine, on the Champ de Mars, in the 7th arrondissement. It is made of iron and repainted regularly by climbing specialists. Until 1930 it was the tallest tower in the world, it measures 324 meters in height and receives an average of 6 million visitors per year, making it the 3rd most visited site in Paris. Currently it is used as a transmitter for radio or TV stations, which saves it about twenty meters.

Champs Elysées

It is the emblematic avenue of Parisian life, it is a way of Paris. Nearly two kilometers long, it is still a traffic lane connecting the Place de la Concorde to that of Charles-de-Gaulle where the triumphal arch stands. It is recognized as one of the most beautiful avenues in the world. Touristically speaking it attracts a number of tourists imposing 30 million foreigners come to stroll in its prestigious shops. The Champs-Éysées are the scene of historic events such as the annual parade on July 14 or the celebration of the two football world cups.

The red mill

Tonight awaits us an evening at the mythical Moulin-Rouge, It is located on Boulevard de Clichy in the 18 arrondissements at the bottom of the Butte Montmartre. This Parisian cabaret, founded in 1889, is one of the best known in the world, thanks in particular to the French cancan. Its style and name have been imitated and borrowed by other cabarets around the world, we even found one in Thailand. The variety of these cabarets has broken all records, from a hilarious petomaniac to singer Ella Fitzgerald to the unforgettable Mistinguett. Long live the beautiful Epoch!

River boat

Saturday after the traditional visits of the monuments of Paris here we entered the refined phase of the weekend. It is 8 pm, the leaflet announced "Tell us your dreams ..." We wanted to see Paris by the Seine, we were fulfilled beyond our expectations. What is it about? Quite simply, a dinner cruise to rediscover the most prestigious places in Paris but seen from the Seine side, all complemented by a delicious meal decorated by the mixed sounds of a violin and a piano. Duration of the cruise 2 hours, departure during the day and return at night. An aerial terrace equipped with powerful projectors allows you to take the air but also to operate your friend who follows you everywhere: your reflex.

Pere Lachaise Cemetery

Already on Sunday we decided to go visit the cemetery of Père Lachaise. Unmissable visit of this place which is more than 2 centuries old, where famous, wealthy or completely unknown people rub shoulders. Unique disparities, from Chopin to Desproges via Jericho. An astonishing necropolis! For my part, I like to learn about the speed of forgetting. Despite the extreme wealth that transpires in most burials (some vaults are small castles) assess the speed of abandonment by families or friends. Jim Morrison always flowered for 40 years, like Marie Trintignant, Becaud etc ... And others like Sophie Daumier without flowers with broken stele?

The Louvre

It is a unique museum in the world and also the largest, a former royal residence located in the center of Paris rue de Rivoli not far from the Seine. It was opened just after the French Revolution (1793). It houses prestigious paintings, the Mona Lisa, the Raft of the Medusa, the wedding at Cana among others but, make no mistake about it, the hundreds of rooms will take you to contemplate the arts in all its forms, all countries and all decades. The entrance is characterized by a structured glass pyramid. We cannot talk about the Louvre in a few lines, a must in Paris for a very modest sum (less than 16 euros). Plan a lot of your time

The Panthéon

If you are attached to France, I encourage you to visit the Pantheon because it honors all the characters who have marked the history of the country. As an example we can cite: Voltaire, Rousseau, Hugo, Zola, Jaurès, Moulin, Dumas, Malraux, Veil and I forget a lot. He should not be confused with the invalids who only honor the military. Originally it was a church which lost its use after the French Revolution. Note at the entrance the spectacular animated clock whose pendulum gives the exact time without machinery. The Pantheon is located in the 5th arrondissement in the middle of the Latin Quarter.

Town hall

The town hall of Paris was established by King Saint-Louis, it is today a gas factory where it takes a lot of courage to navigate as much by its number of employees as by the colossal budget (more than 11 billion euros) that it manages. It is located on Place de la Mairie in the fourth arrondissement. There are 20 arrondissements, therefore 20 subordinate town halls. Currently the town hall of Paris is headed by a woman Madame Hidalgo. Paris is twinned only with Rome, which in our world remains exceptional. Renaissance style it dates from the 19th century. Of course this building is public so can be visited.

Sacré cœur and Montmartre

Another must visit, the Sacré Coeur basilica on the Montmartre hill which offers you a magnificent view of Paris. The tourist context extends over the entire Montmartre district with its museum, its vineyards and its Place du Tertre where painters and caricaturists will enchant you. You can access it from avenue de Clichy either on foot or by the many stairs including that of rue Foyatier with 220 steps or for the lazier by funicular in just a few minutes.

Bastille's Place

Place de la Bastille is a square in Paris, symbolic of the Revolution, where the old prison fortress of the Bastille was completely destroyed by the population between 1789 and 1790. In 1792, it was decided that the location of the Bastille formed a place called "Place de la Liberté" and that a gigantic column would be erected there. It is also a must-see place for tourists to visit nearby attractions (Bastille Market and Opera House or the Saint-Martin Canal, etc.)

Castle of Versailles

Last and third day in Paris devoted exclusively to the Palace of Versailles. This royal palace is located northwest of the commune of Versailles (Yvelines) about 15 kilometers southwest of Paris. It was the residence of the kings of France: Louis 14, Louis 15, and Louis 16 until the revolution of 1789. Its construction began in 1623 under the aegis of Louis 13 and will evolve regularly to become one of the most beautiful palaces in the world with stunning gardens. To get to the Palace of Versailles by taking Line C of the RER, take a Paris - Château de Versailles Rive Gauche ticket, zones 1-4. Go there early in the morning to avoid the crowds and let yourself be guided by the magic of the gardens and the excessiveness of our kings.

Paris Beach

In July / August Paris is also "beach paris". The quays of the Seine transformed into a beach with umbrellas and deckchairs. A very good idea of the municipality and which attracts a crazy world where rest and relaxation are on display. Don't believe the TV shows that tell you that thousands of tons of sand have turned everything upside down. Sand yes, but very little and in very specific places. It is an almost fictitious beach where the major fact is that traffic is prohibited. See the pictures. We do not swim in the Seine but I saw a swimming pool set up for the occasion with cabins and being able to accommodate 200 people. So why not have a summer vacation in the capital and without cars.

The bridges of Paris

You all know the song "under the bridges of Paris" but did you go there? You would be surprised at the serenity and the bucolic that reigns along the Seine. Paris has 37 bridges spanning the Seine, the best known are the Pont Neuf (in fact the oldest), the Pont de l'Alma and its Zouave and the most majestic, the Alexandre 3 bridge. To top it off, around fifty footbridges allow pedestrians, and only pedestrians, to avoid major detours like that of La Villette or the Canal Saint-Martin. Take advantage of the photo of the Pont des Arts above because all the lovers' canedas have been removed, for how long?

Beaubourg

Centre Pompidou
Another place that will delight you is the Pompidou center named after a President of the French Republic who imagined there, it is often called the Beaubourg center. It is dedicated to art and culture and particularly to modern art. It is classified to be one of the wonders of the new architecture of the 20th century. It houses the Museum of Modern Art. Located on Place Georges Pompidou in inner Paris, it is recognizable by all of its large colored pipes that clutter the facades. Being from noon, we will proudly note that its main patron is Pernod-Ricard.

Obélisque

In 1830 the viceroy of Egypt offered France this obelisk. It has since been erected on the famous Place de la Concorde not far from the National Assembly. It has a famous story because in fact the gift was on two columns but only one was transported to France. The second remained in place and reinstated in Egypt by President François Mitterrand, a culture lover, during his first seven-year term.
The Parisian Luxor obelisk is listed as a historical monument. To visit it, take the metro stop Concorde. It is good to know that a few years later the last French king Louis-Philippe donated to Cairo a splendid copper clock, still visible in the museum.

Orsay National Museum 

It is a national museum opened to the public in the years 1986. You will find it in front of the Pont Royal in the seventh district of the city, in Paris one says "it is left bank" compared to the Seine. It was built by a certain Victor Laloux in 1898 on the former Orsay station which it has kept the name. It was the President of the Republic, Valérie Giscard d'Estaing, who decided in 1986 to reorganize into a museum. The museum has the largest collection of impressionist paintings in the world with more than 1000 canvases. If you want to watch Manet's "Lunch on the Grass" this is where it happens. All the collections present a wide variety of Western art from the 19th century, Photos, architectures, sculptures, canvases etc.

The great palace

The grand palace alone is a story worthy of an encyclopedia. It is located on the edge of the Champs Elysées (there is also the little palace opposite). It was inaugurated with great pomp by President Emile Loubet on May 1, 1900 (3rd Republic). A very large-scale renovation is taking place between 2020 and 2023 when it will be closed. The complete end of the work will be effective in 2025 (let us pray for). Multi-artistic, a multitude of events and trade fairs mark its existence. Before going there, it is important to visit its site to find out about the events planned.

Eurodisney

It is now called Disneyland Paris, it is an international and inevitable leisure center located 30 km east of Paris. It has more visitors than any Parisian building. Created in 1992, it has more than 320 million visitors and more than 16,000 employees who make it the number one employer in the Seine et Marne department. It is well served as much by air flights as by the TGV which stops squarely inside where it has a station, but also by the RER (Marne la Vallée station). This leisure center never closes so it does not have a priority of seasons to get there, our advice: avoid all the same on rainy days since the majority of visits are made in the open air.

Our video shot on site



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We hope you will find this article useful on your next visit to the capital.
Yours for a next report on Laos, a gift map before leaving


Mireille and Alain for tripriders.

update September 2021

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