The secret of ‘getting ahead’ is ‘getting started’.
Since many days, (might be months, now) I was planning to start this blog. But somehow, never knew where to start. Couldn’t find a good name, topic, time etc. But not today. I found out a perfect topic to begin with. Hopefully, I will be able to update my blog regularly from now and keep my small number of readers entertained.
Someone rightly said, “for Paris is a moveable feast.” So, there couldn’t have been any better topic than this city which has been depicting the Carnival of Life so perfectly since decades. Last week, I had this opportunity to be in Paris and I grabbed it with both hands.
I always thought Paris to be a beautiful but overrated city in the opinions of tourists. But, I felt the pangs of being wrong as soon as I landed in the city and saw the majestic Tower from a distance. I had the privilege of feasting on Paris for three days and would love to visit it again and again. In fact, I fell in love with Paris. I was so just beyond happy to be there in the lovely city. I felt that I might be feeling over-whelmed but it wasn’t so. Every tourist around me seemed to be engulfed by the charm that this city oozes.
On deeper thoughts, I concluded that this city has three characteristics which has been defining this city and making it so special amongst the tourists. Let me tell you a bit about all of them.
- Tourist Attractions
Just the mere mention of Paris smokes up images of the city’s world famous attractions, museums and art galleries. Paris is full of top attractions, museums, art galleries, things to do and places to go no matter what time of year you’re planning on going.
Louvre Museum, Musée d’Orsay, Centre Pompidou are few of the brilliant art galleries which attract the art-lovers from across the world and form a significant part of Paris.
Notre Dame Cathedral, Saint Chappelle are also breathtakingly beautiful. If possible, one must always plan a day-trip to Versailles. The architecture of the Palace of the Versailles is a must visit.
- Bon Appétit
Experiencing the cuisine of a country or region is a key practice of a foodie tourist. As we all know, Paris is a dream for foodies. So I was no different. I found out that Paris is the culinary hotspot of French Cuisine. It’s more than classy restaurants and street food though; far more than the macarons and the Michelin stars.
The city thrives on its hundreds of dandy restaurants with its French interiors and lip-smacking menus and cartes offering a creative medley of French and other cuisines from across the globe. People may require advanced reservations at the trendy places like Alain Ducasse Au Plaza Athénée and Le Meurice. For budget-conscious tourists, there are plenty of restaurants, road-side eateries, kiosks etc. to exploit.
The only advice I can give you? Find at least one little place and make it your ‘regular’ in Paris.
- Being a Parisian City
I know this characteristic doesn’t make sense and no other city can beat it but that’s what Paris is. No other city can be as Parisian as Paris itself. The essence of Paris lies in its culture, history, people, tourist attractions, streets, River Seine, metro trains and all other little things of Paris. Paris wouldn’t have been Paris without any of these. All of them come together to form this City of Love.
For decades, Paris has been a flourishing European cultural centre. It can be called as a meeting point for artists from all over the world. No city acts as a melting point of all cultures and people as Paris does.
Presently, the city’s multicultural inheritance can be admired in hundreds of museums, art galleries, churches and cathedrals that grace nearly every part of the city. The spirit of Paris also oozes from the music of local artists and in the architectural built that gives the city its luxurious appeal.
Although usually considered the epicentre of French culture, Paris is at heart a multicultural metropolis. The art pieces in the museums and galleries indicate a permanent mark on the cultural consciousness of the city by the colonial past of France and the contemporary immigration of people.
Parisian culture is also imbibed in the sounds of the hustling-bustling streets, bouncy clubs and delightful operas. During the day, numerous local groups of artists perform the Parisian folk music on the streets (and metro trains also!) for tips and words of kindness.
I felt that Paris is most rewarding when you simply make it your own. I hear a lot of tourists say that Paris is over-rated, which I don’t agree now because I think it’s so wonderful. I think a lot of tourists must find it overwhelming; the city is so heavy with history and culture, and the mad rush to tick off Eiffel Tower and Louvre and Notre-Dame and Arc de Triumph and everything else in between is damn exhausting. It is entirely okay if you don’t see all of those things. Munching off a buttery croissant in bed at nine in the morning because you’re quite satisfied gazing out over the landscape of blue-grey roofs or River Seine with a distant Eiffel Tower can be just as rewarding as anything because it is PARIS..!
By the way, the Title of the Blog Post is a beautiful French phrase by Victor Hugo – “Respirer Paris, cela conserve l’âme” which means “Breathing Paris preserves the soul.” Couldn’t think of a more apt title, could I…??? :p