A Weekend in the City of Love
The sparks flew as soon as I got off the train--not that the train station was anything particularly special, but because as soon as I took out my earphones and touched foot on the pavement, I heard it; I felt it. The air, vibrant, lively air, full of excitement and life. The sounds of happy travelers and Parisians returning home echoed in brilliance. Paris is indeed full of life and full of charm.
Maybe it's the hype, or the number of tourists bustling around, or maybe just the rush of the city, but stepping into the City of Love feels like an electric shock of being brought back to life. Whether you’re a fan of Paris or not, no one can detest its lively spirit. An ultimate Happy Travel for all.
Enough of the cheesy rambling, here are some must see's and do's for your Paris Escape:
For any voyage, there are really only three basic elements: eat, see, experience. Eating is an easy one, especially in France where every city has a specialty dish or unique food that you have to give a try--so for Paris, Steak Tartare it is! Especially if you are a meat lover like moi! To be honest, I really don't even know what it consisted of, but once it melted in my mouth I couldn't care less.
Also, I wish I could remember what this was called, but for now I'll call it "Salad on Steroids." Lettuce, croutons, potatoes, walnuts, melted brie cheese and prosciutto--count me in!
Now for sights. These are some no-brainers for anyone hoping to be the ultimate tourist in Paris, which isn't always the worst idea.
The Louvre--culture and art overload. I'd like to think of going to The Louvre as a long day at the beach. At first it's great, the sun is roasting down on you and you start to get your tan on and are loving the rays, but then you are sunburnt after. At the Louvre, you walk in and are amazed! You go into the first exhibit and take about 1000 photos and contemplate every piece of art, but then you find out there are like 100 other exhibits, and by the time you reach number 15, you go through what I call an "overexposure to culture," and your mere 21st-century adolescent-mind can't take it, so you kind of die, in the best way possible of course. But who cares about a little overexposure, there is no happier place to see the best art in the world.
The Notre Dame--it's huge, so you gotta go. If you are into the whole "gothic church" scene, then this is your place.
Montmartre--see some of the best views in Paris and soak in all of the happiness while listening to some street-singers sitting outside on the steps.
Arc de Triomphe--also huge, and just one of those architectural designs that leaves you in awe and feeling incompetent when you consider the fact that it was built so long ago with average tools and you can't even build a good sand castle at the beach. Oh well.
Eiffel Tower--mmm well duh!
Champs-Élysées--sit down at a cafe and get your people-watch on, shop like a Parisian, or just skip around because you're in PARIS!
Moulin Rouge--if you don't see a show, at least take a picture of it to be cool. Or if you are feeling more hipster and have some life left in you at the end of the night, finish your day off with a glass of wine at a Jazz Bar. Nothing like some fresh jazz avec vin.
You make your own experiences on each trip, and they are often just out of spontaneity. But here are some tips in order to find those spontaneous events--talk to people often, walk around instead of taking the metro, buy crepes always, and just take some moments in, sometimes without even capturing it with a photo (I need to get better at this one for sure).
Well voila! Paris isn't just the City of Love, or the City of Light, but it can also be the City of Happy, as long as you're always on the hunt!
(Apologies again--that was so cheesy; I'll take it down a notch next time.)
The Happiness Hunt