Friday, September 11, 2009

A day in Paris

Paris is my favorite city. Paris, the capital of France, is the most popular tourist destination with 45million tourists every year, out of which, most are foreigners. It carries an amalgamation of cultural significance, scenic beauty and is also the world's fashion capital. The Eiffel Tower, The Louvre, The Arc de Triomphe, the Seine River and the good-looking French men and women all add up to make Paris the most beautiful city in the world.

We spent a day in Paris last summer. It was wonderful. In the morning we were taken on the tour bus to the Arc de Triomphe, which stands in the centre of the "Place Charles de Gaulle and is a monument built in memory of France's most fearless leader, Napoleon Bonaparte. The design of this triumphal arch was given by Jean Chalgrin.

Then we went to see the Eiffel Tower and we were given tickets to get into the tower's lift which took us to the first floor of the tower. (Riding on the lift was a funny feeling as the lift took us up diagonally). The view was nice so we went higher up to the second floor through the stairs. The view was "magnifique" from there with the green lawns and fountains on one side (see picture) and the Seine river flowing by on the other, with thousands of people having come to a romantic retreat on one side and hundreds of architectural monuments on the other.

It seems, theEiffel tower is the most paid visited monument in the world, with millions ascending it every year and the tallest building in Paris with a height of 324 meters and engineered and designed by Gustave Eiffel. Eiffel, by night (which is not before 12:00PM in summers), is the most spectacular sight on earth.

Well, then we wanted to see the Louvre Museum. It was a beauty, both from inside and from outside. The was a huge glass and metal pyramid on the outside and the main building was itself beautifully carved. There are 20,000 pieces of art in the museum, most reknowned of them being the Mona Lisa- the most popular painting in the world, an artwork by Leornardo da Vinci and several other more good looking paintings and rock carvings. We spent almost three hours in it, exclaiming that even one whole day was not enough to explore the whole museum.

Sight-seeing is incomplete without shopping and that too, in Paris, which is the headquarters of some of the biggest brands in perfumes, accessories and clothes (eg. Chanel, Vercace, L'Oreal, Louis Vitton, Dior, etc.). So my mom bought a bottle of perfume which was the cheapest among the lot and yet cost her 3000bucks from a perfumery. But she hasn't used the perfume till now.
After a long day we went back to our hotel after savouring on French ice-cream, chicken salad and tarts. They were delicious.

(Did you know?
Paris is the most pet-populated city, about 95% of the families owning at least one dog. By the way, the pets are very cute and so are their owners.)

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