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Hello! Welcome to Pichets in Paris Publishing. Here you will find travel stories and photos, the occasional Book Review and fictional piece based in Paris or France. ALL IMAGES ARE BY L'AUSSIE IMAGES (owned by Denise Covey). Contact me for permission to copy my images.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

A Little Piece of Paris

When in Paris your first stop should be to pick up Pariscope before heading off on a discovery tour of this wonderful city. Grab a copy in any newsagency in Paris (out each Wednesday and only costs a couple of euros) and head to one of Paris' beautiful gardens, perhaps the Jardin Du Luxembourg, to read it. Pariscope is a weekly magazine which keeps Parisians and tourists up to date with what's happening in the city. There are 200 pages of events, so as you can see, a lot happens in Paris in one week!

Before my first trip to Paris, I made a scrapbook, with cut outs from various articles I'd seen about must-see places and eateries. I'd also scanned pages from my Paris reads so I could walk in the footsteps of Paris travellers. I know I'm a try hard, but it allowed me to maximise my time. I was so greedy to see everything at once, ha ha.

The magnificent Louvre - wowzers!!!!!!!!

As soon as I arrived in Paris (luckily on the first Sunday of the month) I headed to the Louvre as it is free on this one day of the month. I find Paris museums quite generous in their entry fees as compared to say, London, but free is even better. It's also free for under 18s every day which is tremendous. And the best way to enter is underground - from the Metro station Musee de Louvre. Nowhere near the queues that form out near the Pyramid and you don't get damp if it drizzles. Plus there's some lovely shops there too! 

I soon realised that it'd take a year to get around all the exhibits, or maybe a lifetime! On this first visit I became acquainted with the museum’s three great ladies — the Venus de Milo, the Victory of Samothrace, and the Mona Lisa (of course!) and other major works I'd been dreaming about. When I first saw the Mona Lisa she was quite unprotected and the photos are fabulous. Today she is behind glary glass, so it really isn't worth snapping away which was probably the idea! I still remember the joy I felt seeing actual originals of Monet, Boticelli et al. Wow! And the size of some of these paintings!

The most tantalising view from the Louvre (which is a drop-dead gorgeous 1204 fortress cum palace cum public museum) was the Eiffel Tower which kept popping up through the windows of the Louvre. It finally got too seductive, so I decided to leave the Louvre in the early afternoon as I'd had all the museum culture I could handle for one day. I headed off on foot to see the Eiffel Tower. See you later, Louvre...

If anyone has done this promonade, through the glorious Tuileries gardens, the largest and oldest public park in Paris, you'll understand that it takes quite awhile. Normally I wouldn't have worried, except I'd decided I'd like to see the sunset from the Eiffel Tower (see previous post). Nah, didn't make it! Therefore I did not enjoy the walk as much as I would now.

There's no better way to see Paris than by strolling (read The Flaneur, by Edmund White) and I've certainly worn out a lot of shoe leather doing just that. The Metro is pretty good too. After the initial awkwardness of buying your Carte Orange (unlimited Metro trips for a week), it's so great to live your Paris life with the Metro Map in hand and fly from one spot to the other. But the Metro is another story...maybe next post.

Later...

3 comments:

  1. I've been to the Louvre so many times and I still LOVE it each time. :) It truly is wowzers.

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  2. Sure is. I could go there every day when in Paris, but the trouble is, there's so many other great museums...I haven't been to them all yet..:)

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