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September 09, 2013

To Paris With Love

"If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast"
.-Ernest Hemingway 
I, for one, had always considered Paris to be a very pompous and highly over rated holiday destination. It had always been a long distance affair I had with the place, a kind of puppy love inspired by travelogues and movies like 'Casablanca' and 'The Phantom of the Opera' or fashion news from magazines like 'Cosmopolitan' and 'Vogue'....until a few years back when I had the opportunity to visit this wonderful city and bask in its glorious beauty. That was when I knew that everything I had heard and read about Paris was absolutely true, to its minutest detail. That was when the long distance puppy love I had felt for the place blossomed into a full fledged relationship as I fell head over heels in love with this spectacular city.
Just like old lovers, I can say for sure that Paris and I can never have enough of each other. So when I read about the 'Creating happy travellers' contest at IndiBlogger wherein we are supposed to write about that place in the world where we would want to take our loved ones, I found myself filled with the same mix of happiness and excitement a girl experiences when its time to introduce her family to the one she loves.

 Making a rough itinerary always helps. So what if the plan is still in 'arm chair travel' mode, organised thoughts never killed anyone.
Known to be the ultimate city of romance, Paris is equally famous for its alluring architecture, sumptuous food, and equally indulgent night life. A holiday to this dream destination would combine culture, history and style and I am quite sure my family would enjoy this enchanting paradise as much as I.

Tentative duration of the vacation: approx 5-6 days although no holiday can be too long when you are in this magical city.

Best time for a Paris holiday: The weather is stable and usually at its best in September to November. However, December is a lovely time to go visiting too, when the city is all lit up with Christmas lights and the festive spirit is in the air.

 Must-visit's in Paris:
  •  Le  Louvre---It is the world's largest museum located on the right bank of the Seine. It exhibits  works of renowned artists and sculptures which includes the Renaissance collection particularly known for Leonardo Da Vinci's Mona Lisa and several others. The museum takes you through a tour into the history of France.
  • Eiffel Tower---Sipping on a glass of wine amidst your loved ones, at the roof top restaurant of the Eiffel tower, 300 m high would be indeed divine. I can already imagine myself humming 'On top of the world'  by The Carpenters.
  • Place du Trocadero---It is located across the Seine from the iconic Eiffel Tower, and is the best spot for shutterbugs to capture spectacular views.
  • Notre Dame Cathedral---It is the masterpiece of gothic architecture. A long spiral stairway leads to the Cathedrals most scary gargoyles, the thirteen tonne 'Emmanuel' bell and a breath taking view of Paris.
  • Haunted catacombs of Paris---I am really curious about this. Having read about the scary history, I would not dare to visit these alone. Having one's family to hold on tightly to always helps, in such frightening situations, and...err..I can always let my sister lead the way. *evil grin*
  • Palace of Versailles
  • Disneyland (perfect for a day trip, if time permits)
  • Sacre Coeur
  • The Place De La Concorde---a beautiful representation of the culture of Paris.
  • The Champs-Elysee---most renowned and beautiful promenade in the world which further leads to Arc de Triomphe. At its western end, there are cinemas, movie halls and cafes. It is this promenade that is used for all major celebrations in Paris---ceremonial parades, sports victories and national soirees.
  • River Seine--by cruise or a simple stroll, to enjoy a spectacular view of the entire city.
  • Moulin Rouge--for a lovely evening of music and dance.
  • Place Du Tertre---A village square located at the heart of Montmartre. Here you will find painters, experts as well as aspiring students of art, surrounded by easels, canvases and paints and the other paraphernalia, willing to sketch portraits of you in a medium of your preference. My family has always been a great lover of art, and I am sure they would love to experience the magic of these talented artists who are able to etch nearly perfect images within minutes. I have even decided to try and coax them into sketching a family picture. Though I know that this might prove a little tedious, I would gladly shell out the cited price for the talent and effort  put in to preserve that happy moment from the eyes of the proficient portrait painter, and watch as he/she sketches away the delicate details that are sometimes far less obvious with the lens, and yet go easily unnoticed by us.
Must-eat's/must-drink's
  • Chestnut crepes drenched in chocolate sauce
  • Freshly roasted chestnuts
  • Normandy pancakes
  • Crepe Suzette
  • Macaroons, gateaux, black truffles, baguette
  •  Perigord foie gras
  • French wines/Champaignes--- Bordeaux, Burgundy.
  • Wine and cheese (esp Camembert, chèvre and Roquefort.)
Paris has a lot to offer and planning an itinerary would also mean keeping a mental check on making the experience a relaxed and enjoyable one. Everyone in my family loves to read---be it a holiday or a working day, there has not been a single time when a book has not been able to bring a twinkle to our eye. Shakespeare and Company bookshop promises to do just that. Featured in Ernest Hemingway's memoir, 'A Moveable Feast', this age old book store had been once the haunt of luminaries like Voltaire, Rousseau and Verlaine, and has its walls adorned with author-signed title pages. I am sure we would not want to give this experience a miss.
They say Paris in the night is a dazzling beauty. The Eiffel Tower stands tall in all its glittering glory while the rest of the city swells with pride at its glamour and panache. Paris's Montmartre neighborhood has its intricate backstreets adorned with local brasseries and cafes adorning the place. The only glitch is that the so called snooty Parisians live up to our prejudiced impression, however knowing their language or carrying a pocket dictionary can help a great deal in tackling with their stiff upper lip.
There is no better shopping experience than while in Paris. From clothes to shoes to perfumes and colognes to handbags and shoes, this city is a mile ahead of all, in the fashion department. I am not that much of a shopaholic but I can be pretty picky, and with my entire family fussing around me, I am sure I'm going to love every bit of the experience. Also, I would take them shopping in the Marais, which is Paris's famous shopping precinct.

So much to experience...so much to cherish...and so much to take home...

Having said that, I think it is worth mentioning that no 'one' trip' can be the happiest one ever. Each vacation spent together is special in its own way. The best part of any holiday are the memories we create. Just the thought of spending quality time with my loved ones makes me happy. No wonder www.yatra.com believes in creating happy travellers. Seems like they know that when you are with the people you love, every minute is important..you want to leave all the planning details and nitty gritties of travel with someone you can trust, while you revel in the satisfaction of a comfortable holiday.
For this very reason we have http://www.yatra.com, providing us with the best and most economical deals in flight bookings, hotel bookings and holiday packages.
For everything else, in the words of the famous Rick Blaine,  "We'll always have Paris..."

Cheers to happy times...
Cheers to the travel bug!




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 This post has been written for Creatiing Happy Travellers Contest in association with yatra.com and Indiblogger.
 If you are an Indivine user and you like what you read, you can vote for me here.

6 comments:

Arvind Passey said...

Loved the post because you began with a quote from Hemingway... though the rest of the post did tend to ramble on like any other travel brochure. However, the post did give almost all relevant info on the city... and this is probably what matters to a traveller. Info makes a traveller happy! :)

Arvind Passey
www.passey.info

Niki said...

Brought back memories of Paris. Well written :)

Abhra said...

Have been in Paris once and it continues to be the best vacation ever - never loved a foreign city so much. Nice post but what you have missed is that one should walk around Paris to enjoy its real beauty. It's amazing.

pri said...

Arvind Passey
Yes. I am aware of that. I did intend stressing more on the information aspect of it this time around :)
After all, those who have been to Paris would definitely vouch for the overwhelming effect the place has on you. I guess I got a bit carried away too ;)

pri said...

Niki
Thanks Niki :)

pri said...

Abhra
Ofcourse Abhra, Paris is best appreciated on foot. I have been there done that and it still remains my dream vacation---I guess I'd never have enough of this city.

I'm so happy we share a common love for Paris :)