A Student's Blog: My trip to Paris - 1 April 2018

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Tuesday, 3 April 2018

My trip to Paris - 1 April 2018

Spending quite a busy life doing my PhD, Easter holidays came at a great time to take my mind off from work and go for a relaxing mini-vacation in the city of light. Paris.

My girlfriend and I planned this trip at the very last moment (2 days before the trip) and grabbed the quickly depleting bus tickets to Paris. It took us almost 4 hours by bus and we reached Paris on 31st March by 6 pm.  Weather was cloudy but pleasantly cold.

Metro was the best option to reach to our accommodation in the southern part of Paris. But somehow I  checked the wrong address and we reached the wrong place, although with the same name- 9 Place Victor Hugo. Apparently there are more than one "9 Place Victor Hugo" in Paris. I acknowledged my mistake and we finally got the right connection amidst the constant bickering of my girlfriend. We reached the right place finally at around 8:30 pm and met the host- sweet old man- retired french policeman- very amicable and happy person. He showed us the place and recommended some french restaurants nearby.

We quickly refreshed and left for dinner (a little too late~ around 10:30 pm), but the suggested restuarant wasn't open so we found an italian food truck selling freshly made pizza. The irony of eating italian food for our first dinner in france was too strong but sweet none the less.
We roamed around for a bit and then went back to get a good night sleep. It's going to be a long and fun day tomorrow...

Next morning, we left our place at around 11, and took the metro straight to the heart of Paris- to visit the well known Eiffel tower. With grey clouds in the background, there was something eerily beautiful about the wrought-iron structure. 

We decided to roam around the city and come back to Eiffel tower at night, to see it in its full-fledged glory. So, the next stop was Pont Alexandre III. Walking through the heart of the city and coming across the museum of war (with old tanks from world war 2 carefully placed in the huge garden), we reached our location. Pont Alexandre... a grandiose bridge with beautiful golden sculptures enhancing the beauty of river Seine. 

Next to the bridge was a huge public square named "Place de la Concorda", with a stark resemblance to the London eye. A giant wheel in the vicinity and the ever so majestic Egyptian "Luxor obelisk" gifted to France, the place looked surreal with 2 beautiful fountains. 

Post lunch, we headed to our next place "Basilica of Sacred Heart of Paris"- a beautiful catholic church located on the hill-top of Mont Marte. The climb of 300 stairs were filled with local bars and restaurants, with a lot of people enjoying their evening with good french wine and music. We went inside and prayed for a good 30 minutes while absorbing the beautiful interiors full of intricate idols, wall carvings and glass paintings.

After coming out, we spent some time drinking and enjoying the live/music in a nearby pub. I might add that my girlfriend found the singer quite charming.

Later we had a quick dinner, and went back to visit Eiffel tower. This time going past the security check and then reaching right under the lighted- tower. It looked quite adorable, with the flickering light show, changing colors and dark moonless night in the background. We sat there, for what was like an eternity, watching the symbol of love.

Finally headed back home, and slept in seconds, both quite exhausted from the day's outing but excited for the next morning.

Next  day, we visited "Louvre Museum",  home for the most famous painting in the world- the authentic- La Gioconda or what is commonly known as the " Mona Lisa". There were hundred- if not thousands- of people lining up to get a glimpse of the master piece. We went through the museum exhibits-  describing the history of the great Lovre museum and exhibiting artifacts and antiquities from early-European, Egyptian, Greek and Asian civilization, dating back from a few hundred BC to 20th century. There were also a vast number of french paintings from early 1600s to 1800s. I could only imagine the work and hardships required to collect and keep these artifacts in impeccable condition. Finally, after 4 hours into the museum, we found our way to the one and only "Mona Lisa". Although no where an art connoisseur, I couldn't help but notice the strokes of oil paint on wood as fresh as they were and her insincere smile (almost wicked) that has left the whole world wondering what was going through her mind at that exact moment.

After 4 hours of mind bending experience, we went for a short walk outside to relax and absorb everything we could. It was drizzling now, as we headed across to see the present law court of Paris, but formerly used as a detention center during the French revolution. 

Later, we went for dinner and went back to the huge public square "Place de la Concorda" to see the city of light in its full glory, after which we took the metro and went back to our accommodation.

Next morning, early bus back to Belgium as we bow out of the beautiful city of Paris.

Till we see again!

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