“What if you could get away for a few days to Paris?” asked Sury, as we watched a movie set in Paris. Naturally, I raised an eyebrow. He went on to wax poetic about a city break Paris which means fantastic travel options available to those who want to experience the city’s world-class museums, top-level galleries, and stunning landmarks, among other attractions. He spent a few months in Paris years go and loved it. Who wouldn’t?
I was about to be sarcastic and say that Paris wasn’t some place we caught the next bus to, but then I shut my mouth recalling how we had suddenly taken a trip abroad last year, unexpectedly. So, I decided to be positive instead and challenged him with, “name five things you’d want to do again with a city break Paris”
And Sury being Sury, listed things I’d enjoy tremendously. The best way to explore a city is on foot to soak in its culture. Here are the things he listed (besides the Eiffel Tower, naturally!):
The Place du Tertre, close to the Sacre Coeur Basilica crowded with artists selling their paintings. Water colors predominate and there are always good ones to tempt the attention of passers-by. I personally love watercolors and here’s a pretty postcard, a memento from his trip.
A delightful stroll through Montmartre and its narrow, twisting streets leading to the Sacre Coeur. On sunny afternoons, the hilltop church built of travertine stone gleams and sparkles in the sunlight. The view from here is spectacular.
And of course there’s the famous Moulin Rouge and Dali’s museum. As you walk down from Place du Tertre, there is a sculpture of a man emerging from a wall whose hand you’re supposed to shake for good luck!
A stroll through the cemetery of Pere Lachaise with its 70,000 burial sites offers a fascinating slice of French culture. Edith Piaf, Colette, Camille Pissarro, Moliere, Honore de Balzac, Yves Montand and Simone Signoret to name but a few are all buried here.
On the Left Bank, the beautifully renovated Musee d’Orsay, a former railway station, is now home to many of the great works of the French impressionist, post-impressionist and art nouveau painters.
The Musee also has impressive collections of sculpture and photography. A visit to the Musee Rodin is a must, especially for first-time visitors. It is home to the works of Auguste Rodin and other great artists. In the museum’s rose garden is one of Rodin’s most famous pieces, the Thinker. I remember we once had to write an essay about The Thinker in French, no less.
Monet’s garden – Monet is one of my favorite french artists. Monet’s home and garden in Giverney, just a short distance from Paris by train, is a romantic and unforgettable memory. Monet created the Jardin D’Eau of waterlily fame himself.
He dug the pond, planted the waterlilies and built the Japanese bridge, which today is covered in wisteria. Here’s his own impression of the garden. This is one of my all-time favorite paintings.
I know – as a city break Paris has so much, so many attractions for people of all ages to experience and enjoy. I’ve always dreamed of strolling the streets in this magnificent city and do what the non-tourists do. I am not surprised Sury would like to visit again and it is a good feeling that if a trip materializes, this time I’ll get to go with him. Europe is on my travel wish list and I started saving up for it ever since my friend Ravi tempted me with hundreds of photos from his own trip a few years ago. Soon, Paris, soon!
Have you been to Paris?
Which is a city, outside the one you live in that you yearn to visit?