Travel

Dreaming Of… France

France

The next stop in our adventure to satiate our wanderlust would be Paris, France  the city of love. I’ve heard mixed reviews from friends who’ve traveled through the city, some say it’s just as romantic and beautiful as they had imagined and some are disappointed by the things they saw and experienced. But nevertheless, I am excited to form my own opinions about the city after the trip.

Continue reading for the top 10 things I’d love to do on my first visit to Paris, France.

Eiffel Tower

1. Eiffel Tower

The most recognizable symbol of Paris, or even France, would be the Eiffel Tower. Named after an engineer of the company that designed and built the iconic landmark, the intricate metal artwork is currently the tallest building in Paris (standing over 1,060 ft.). There are different levels inside the Eiffel Tower with fun things to do including a historical gallery, restaurants, observation deck and more. I am looking forward to seeing the tower at night, all lit up and sparkly!

Versailles

2. Palace of Versailles

There was a Japanese cartoon I grew up watching that used the Palace of Versailles as the backdrop of a fictional story. So when I found out that it was actually a real place at a young age, I knew I had to check it out someday. The beautiful château also holds a significance in French history, the royal families were forced to move out of Versailles at the beginning of the French Revolution. And yes, the infamous Marie-Antoinette was also an inhabitant of the estate leaving behind her presence through the arrangement of the queen’s apartment you see today.

Louvre

3. The Louvre

Did you ever notice that the woman in the famous painting, Mona Lisa, has no eyebrows? Well, you’ll be able to verify the answer to the question once you’re at the Louvre, home to many other famous masterpieces. The Louvre was actually built as a fortress in the 12th century and when Louis XIV left the Louvre for Versailles, he mainly used the Louvre as a place to display the royal collection including ancient Roman and Greek sculptures. The current collection at the Louvre is categorized into eight departments ranging from Western art from the medieval period to the works from ancient civilizations.

Catacombs

4. The Catacombs

This destination is a little macabre but if you knew me, you’d know that I am not one to shy away from creepy oddities like this! The Catacombs of Paris is probably one of the most well-known ossuaries in the world, located just beneath the city. The underground tunnel holds about six million remnants of the ones that lived before us and I think it would be such an amazing experience to see the collection of bones in person.

Gargoyle

5. Gargoyles atop Notre Dame Cathedral

The cathedral of Notre Dame is a Gothic perfection dedicated to the Virgin Mary and while the architecture of the building itself is magnificent, the eerie create atop the stone structure would also be a sight not to be missed. The Gargoyles also serve a practical purpose which is to drain the water on the roof safely down the side of the building to prevent erosion and other water-damage related issues to help preserve the cathedral for the past six hundred years.

Basilica

6. Sacré-Cœur Basilica

This Roman Catholic church is located at the top of Montmartre, a sacred place of worship, and was built in 1875. If you can’t make it here in person, you can always spot it from the Eiffel Tower since it won’t be too hard to miss a white church sitting on top of a hill!

Triomphe

7. Arc de Triomphe

Standing at the center of the Place Charles de Gaulle near the western end of Champs-Élysées, another famous boulevard known for its cafes, luxury shops and the annual military parade, is the Arc de Triomphe. This monument was built to symbolize the triumph of the French army by Napoleon in 1806 after the victory at the Battle of Austerlitz, one of his greatest victories, where the French army defeated the Third Coalition.

tuileries-garden-in-bloom-jennifer-lyon

8. Tuileries Garden

The Tuileries Garden is conveniently located near the Louvre making it an ideal stop after your visit to the museum. It was originally inspired by the gardens of Florence, the hometown of Queen Catherine de Medicis, who moved to a new palace after her husband, Henry II’s death in 1559. It is reminiscent of an Italian renaissance garden complete with fountains, a labyrinth and a grotto!

baie-du-mt-st-michel_large_rwd

9. Mont Saint-Michel

Although this island is a bit far from Paris, located in Normandy, France, I thought I’d include this on the list since it’s definitely a must-see place for me to visit someday. The structural composition of the town illustrates the hierarchy of the values of the townspeople at the time when it was built. From the top, you have: God, the Abbey and the monastery; then the great halls and stores and housing below that and lastly at the bottom are the outside walls, fisherman’s and farmers’ housings. It is also one of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites since its original date of inscription in 1979.

French_wine_tasting_course_Paris_school_wine

10. Wine Tasting in France

I went on a day trip to Napa recently for a wine-tasting event and learned that many of the “types” of wines we see today are actually named after regions of France where an extensive amount of the wine comes from. After learning about it, I don’t think I could skip out on an opportunity for some wine tasting in France including Champagne, Bordeaux, Burgundy, Loire and more!

{Disclaimer: all photos were found via Google search, I do not own them!}

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