|Explore Western Europe France Île-De France Paris|
PARIS : 2nd-5th March 2003
France wasn't a scheduled holiday destination for us, but a short stopover enroute to Tunisia. Our Air France flight from Kuala Lumpur transitted in Paris so we took the opportunity to break our journey there for 4 nights - just long enough to give us a feel of France.
Our quick tour of Paris started at 6:30 am when we arrived in the city on a very cold spring day in March. Not wasting another minute, we dumped our bags at the hotel lobby as we couldn't check-in yet, and set off on our self-guided tour with our books and maps, and chilly fingers attached to the camera.
Being over ambitious, we had scheduled to see a lot more in Paris than we did. One thing we didn't realize was how expansive some of the historical monuments and museums were, and that you needed more than half a day to see them. Infact you may need several days for each site if you want to see them extensively at a relaxed pace, such as in the case of the Louvre and the entire Chateau de Versailles complex. Paris is very much a city that should be enjoyed on foot, both outdoors and indoors. Exploring the quaint cobblestone streets, outdoor gardens and cafes are just as important as exploring the indoor museums and buldings if you want a more wholistic experience of this city.
Paris is also popularly known as a city of romance, but unfortunately, I didn't come away with that impression. It was grey, wet and miserably cold most of the time we were there - So cold infact that my camera batteries which would normally last an hour in warm weather died on me only after 15 minutes! But the few hours that we had of sunshine and blue skies did lift my spirits because that's when Paris' colours and people started to come alive. With all that Paris has to offer, I am sure I would have had a more romantic time had I come in summer. Despite the lack of romantic ambience I experienced in this city of love, I did come away with a deep appreciation for its extremely rich history.
Paris is definitely a place to experience the greatest extremes in pleasure - You can pretend to be King or Queen for a day as you walk through its magnificent and opulent palaces, or simply enjoy a delicious baguette sandwich strolling down the banks of the Seine River. And as much as the Parisians seem to be rushing around, it is not a city to be experienced in a rush. So sit back, prop up your feet and relax as I take you on a virtual tour of Paris.
Thanks so much for stopping by my site and I hope you enjoy seeing Paris through my eyes.
* All pictures were made from a Canon Powershot Pro90
article published 8/15/2004