Part 4 of my travel adventures in 2014
October – Paris & Dijon, France
In October we travelled to France a country I have visited frequently in recent years. Although I have visited Paris before this was my first time back in Paris for many years so I was quite excited to experience it all again. Paris is one of my favourite cities, it holds a special place in my heart as it was the first place I visited outside of the UK and you could say my love of travel and experiencing different cultures began right here in Paris.
We did not have much time in Paris one full day and night before travelling to Dijon in Eastern France so here are some of my Paris highlights.
The Musée d’Orsay
The Musée d’Orsay is on the left bank of the Seine. It is in the former Gare d’Orsay, a Beaux-Arts railway station. The museum holds mainly French art dating from 1848 to 1915.
One of the museum’s giant clocks, inside from the restaurant you can get a great view through the clock.
The Musée d’Orsay, seen from the right bank of the Seine river.
The Louvre Palace and the Pyramid.
One of the world’s largest and most visited museums. Even in October the queue was huge so we gave it a miss.
Walking around Paris makes you hungry so we did as the locals do and went for a baguette. Boulangerie Eric Kayser is a famous Parisian bakery and the queue to buy bread was out the door but luckily they also have a café so we were able to get a table and enjoy the wonderful breads and pastries and soak up the atmosphere.
Onto the The Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Paris, commonly known as The Basilica Sacré-Cœur. The basilica is found in Montmartre, the highest point in the city so you get lovely views. It is a really busy touristy area where you can get your portrait sketched and buy the usual touristy trinkets but it is also one of the most historic and interesting neighborhoods in Paris so make sure you explore the steep and cobbled streets around here.
The Basilica Sacré-Cœur
The next stop was the Montparnasse Tower which is the only skyscraper in Paris. The only floors open to the public for viewing the city are the 56th & 59th floors. One of fastest lifts in the world takes you up to the 56th floor 38 seconds to be precise. The 56th panoramic floor has a covered terrace and restaurant, you then have to climb the stairs up to the 59th floor to the roof terrace which on a clear day you can see up to 40km away. It offers a spectacular view of Paris and especially the Eiffel Tower which you can’t miss as Montparnasse is directly opposite.
The Eiffel Tower from Montparnasse
A view of the roofs, avenues and monuments of Paris from Montparnasse.
We just had enough time before it started to get dark to visit the Cathedral of Notre-Dame de Paris. A masterpiece of Gothic architecture, it is the most visited monument in France and no visit to Paris is complete without visiting here.
The Western Facade of the Notre-Dame
The Eiffel Tower
Saving the best for last we visited the Eiffel Tower, Paris’s most famous symbol. It was just getting dark and we got there in plenty time for the Illuminations. Every evening, the Eiffel Tower lights up with its golden covering and sparkles for 5 minutes every hour on the hour, while its beacon shines over Paris.
I hope you enjoy my short video of the illuminations below, it really was breathtaking and magical.
We finished off a fantastic day with a wonderful meal. As usual it was not long enough but I am sure I will be back in Paris again very soon.
(Just incase you are wondering why I did not feature shopping in Paris it was because we visited on a Sunday and it is normal to find all the shops are closed not just in Paris but all over France on Sunday’s.)
I hope you enjoyed my day in Paris. Where was the first place you visited? What is your favourite city and does anywhere hold a special place in your heart? As always I would love to hear your thoughts and comments.
Join me again soon for my last travel adventure of the year in Dijon the capital of the Burgundy region of France.