Summary of Paris

Now that I’ve posted all of my photos, I thought I’d share my overall thoughts of my first time in Paris. I only ended up being here for about a day and a half, but I felt like it was enough time to see most of the things that I wanted to see. I walked around everywhere, and I got a really good orientation of the city. This was also a great chance for me to practice my French, particularly the phrases Je voudrais un café, s’il vous plaît (I would like a coffee, please) and Parlez-vous anglais? (Do you speak English?) Paris is the most beautiful city I’ve ever seen. I loved it, and I can’t wait to go back!

Love, Elizabeth

Shakespeare and Company
Leave it to me to find what Flavorwire called one of the most beautiful bookstores in the world. As soon as I walked in, I recognised it from photos I have seen on some of the book blogs I follow. In fact, the wallpaper on my computer at one point was a photo of the signature doorway in this shop, above which is painted: “Be not inhospitable to strangers, / Lest they be angels in disguise.”
The small, cosy shop is crammed from floor to ceiling with (English-language) new and used books. The ground floor is the shop, and the upper floor is a massive reading room—complete with typewriter-filled alcoves—that houses a personal library that is free for anyone to look through and read. They have a strict no-photo policy, so you’ll just have to go there yourself to see what I feel is the most beautiful bookshop in the world.
Love, Elizabeth

Shakespeare and Company

Leave it to me to find what Flavorwire called one of the most beautiful bookstores in the world. As soon as I walked in, I recognised it from photos I have seen on some of the book blogs I follow. In fact, the wallpaper on my computer at one point was a photo of the signature doorway in this shop, above which is painted: “Be not inhospitable to strangers, / Lest they be angels in disguise.”

The small, cosy shop is crammed from floor to ceiling with (English-language) new and used books. The ground floor is the shop, and the upper floor is a massive reading room—complete with typewriter-filled alcoves—that houses a personal library that is free for anyone to look through and read. They have a strict no-photo policy, so you’ll just have to go there yourself to see what I feel is the most beautiful bookshop in the world.

Love, Elizabeth

Paris by Night

I really wish my camera would have caught some better shots of the city in at nighttime, but unfortunately, these are the best I got. Paris is just as beautiful in the dark as it is at daytime. The lighting is beautiful, and my favourite part was when I saw the Eiffel Tower; the entire thing was sparkling with lights.

Love, Elizabeth

Notre Dame

Le Tour Eiffel

I always thought the Eiffel Tower was blue, and from a distance, it does look blue or even purplish at times. I didn’t see it at sunrise or sunset, but it would probably be a different colour then, too. But when you get up close, it turns out the Eiffel Tower is actually brown (milk chocolate brown, to be specific). I was definitely not expecting that, but despite being poo-coloured, it was still a pretty nifty structure, and I was so excited to finally see it in person! There was an insane line to go up in it, so I opted for just buying a coffee at the Tour Eiffel Cafe and admiring it from below.

Love, Elizabeth

Les Ponts

Paris is built on the river Seine, which means that there are plenty of beautiful photo opportunities of the water, boats, and bridges. The bridges (ponts) are all distinctively beautiful, but the one that I thought was most interesting was the Pont des Arts, because the entire thing was covered in padlocks. I wondered what the significance of this was, and the girl I was staying with told me that these are Love Locks. Couples attached a lock to the bridge and then toss the key into the water below. A few years ago, Paris Town Hall expressed their concern that the unsightly locks hinder the preservation of architectural heritage. Shortly after, all of the locks disappeared, though the Administration didn’t claim to have any part. However, new locks reappeared almost immediately, and it seems that Town Hall has accepted it as a fixture in the city.

Love, Elizabeth

The Louvre

This is one of the world’s largest museums and the most visited art museum. Though the flat I stayed in was just a five-minute walk from the Louvre, I didn’t have a chance to wander in and see works such as the Mona Lisa. (To be honest, I also didn’t have the attention span—I love museums, but when I’m in a new place, I don’t have the patience to go inside places like that when I could be out exploring the city!) I did, however, take plenty of photos of its exterior and the famous glass pyramids as well as the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel in front of it (not to be confused with the larger Arc de Triomphe de l’Étoile at the west end of the Champs-Élyséeswhich I unfortunately didn’t take any photos of).

Love, Elizabeth

Montmartre

This district is the highest point in Paris, making for a great view of the city below. On the summit of the hill is the beautiful Sacré-Cœur Basilica. (In French, this translates to “Sacred Heart,” referring to Jesus.) Photos of the interior are forbidden, but it was just as impressive on the inside of the basilica as it was on the outside.

As with many other neighborhoods in Paris, Montmartre is full of cute sidewalk cafes and small shops. My favourite feature was Place du Tertre, the plaza of artists that I stumbled across. It’s a fun spot for tourists to get their portraits painted, but it’s also a reminder of many past artists who once lived and worked in Montmartre, including painters such as Pissarro, van Gogh, Matisse, Renoir, Degas, and my own favourite artist: Toulouse-Lautrec.

Love, Elizabeth

The City of Lights

Known often as La Ville-Lumière, Paris is indeed the city of lights. Originally given this nickname because it was the intellectual centre during the enlightenment, Paris continues to hold this reputation because of the effort that the city puts into its lights. This is something that was really noticeable to me when I was there. There is not a single thing in the city that isn’t picturesque, all the way down to the streetlights; even the “simple” streetlights were grandiose. More than just the lights on the street, Paris is known as a city of light because of the many buildings, bridges, and monuments that are lit up every night. Paris is breathtakingly beautiful during the day, and it doesn’t lose any of its attraction when the sun goes down.

Love, Elizabeth

I’ve been wandering around Paris for just over an hour now. I had no idea where I was when I got out of the station, so I walked around until I found a hill. I climbed up it, hoping that it would lead me to something that looked familiar. It did; at the top of the hill was the Sacre Coeur, which is a really beautiful basilica. Right now, I’m sitting in a cafe in Montmartre eating a muffin and drinking a very strong coffee. (I feel so accomplished for ordering it in French!) Even though it’s a cloudy day, it’s incredible to see the city spread out below me. I caught a glimpse of the Eiffel Tower, so I’m going to head in that direction now.
Love, Elizabeh

I’ve been wandering around Paris for just over an hour now. I had no idea where I was when I got out of the station, so I walked around until I found a hill. I climbed up it, hoping that it would lead me to something that looked familiar. It did; at the top of the hill was the Sacre Coeur, which is a really beautiful basilica. Right now, I’m sitting in a cafe in Montmartre eating a muffin and drinking a very strong coffee. (I feel so accomplished for ordering it in French!) Even though it’s a cloudy day, it’s incredible to see the city spread out below me. I caught a glimpse of the Eiffel Tower, so I’m going to head in that direction now.

Love, Elizabeh