Postcards From Paris

Postcards from Paris

It was the spring of 2008 when the city of love – Paris beckoned me with its charms as I set out to plan a holiday for myself. Folks around were me aghast that I would spend so much on airfare and not visit few more countries in Europe. But I was stuck on visiting only Paris and planned 8 days in the city which at the end of the trip I felt had been too little.

My funda of a trip to anyplace is to peruse it in every color and aspect; not merely touch the highlighted touristic spots. So my plan was to walk along the Seine river, laze in the many garden spots, sip coffee/house wine on the street side cafes and simply watch the Parisian cityscape while daydreaming. I treat my holidays as lazy days and not tasks that have fixed agenda with a start to finish time.

Yes, folks do call me wasteful; but this is my ideal way to travel. I recommend others to embrace it and enjoy their trip; most come back exhausted from their vacations 😉

So let’s talk about Paris and its ways which entranced me in their web while I happily meandered its city walks and garden paths. I am not going to embroider on its beauty in words or even list out all its touristy attractions; rather will let the pictures tell you about my tranquil holiday and my favorite spots in this city of love.

Love wrought in Ironwork

eiffel

First stop was definitely the Eiffel Tower and though I did spend some time to climb it; I would recommend others to not do so as it’s really not that grandiose up there. The view was also not remarkable from the top. I realized all this when I came down and noticed the green expanse of the landscaped gardens, dotted with fountains and colorful flora, especially great bunches of tulips and other winter blooms. In fact, carrying a picnic lunch and lazing on the greens is the ideal thing to do around the Eiffel tower. Oh don’t miss it at night when it’s lit and the lights buzz on it for a minute or so – quite an epic sight!

A Royal Chateau

versailles 1

 

I embarked on a day trip to the Palace of Versailles which was a short train ride away and is a must visit for an art & history buff like me. I won’t bore you with architectural descriptions or historic narrations but will urge you to not to miss out visiting this gorgeous Chateau set out on 7 hectares of landscaped greens with a musical fountain show.  The interiors have the most gorgeous artworks with breathtaking architectural details while the exteriors are fabulously landscaped. And yes do take a picnic lunch as one can spend the whole day here in one of the most opulent castles of the world.

versailles 2

Sacre Couer

sacre couer

Sacre Couer means the sacred heart and is one of the most visited cathedrals in Paris. Somehow this Basilica reminded me of the Taj Mahal with its creamy white stone finish and architectural façade (Ok that’s just my hyperactive imagination). Lots of steps to climb up and there was a pulley-tram thingy on one side but the line was way too long for my patience and so I climbed up; using the stops in between to click pics.

Jardin de Luxembourg

luxembourg gardens1

This was one of the best spots for me to roam around in Paris and I couldn’t get enough of it. Built on 25 acres, the Luxembourg gardens are the perfect picnic spot for kids and adults alike. There is a mix of French and English garden styles with a huge forest thrown in the midst of it too.

luxembourg garden2

Gorgeous sculptures abound in the park which has a stunning architectural building in the backdrop that had me clicking it from every angle. Broad walks lined with huge leafy trees that didn’t allow for the sun to filter through.

luxemburg garden3

Horse rides, puppet shows, and many other activities for children; some of whom were also sailing mini boats in one of the large ponds while several adults sat around with canvases, painting away. In fact, I think it’s the national past time of Paris – sketching/painting! 😉

luxembourg gardens4

Epilogue

I did enjoy my quiet times on the broad walk cafes while sipping some wine or coffee as the mood demanded and even chatted with some friendly folks on the next table. Most Parisian streets are buzzing with activity and one can see people singing, sketching, posing as statues or simply rollerblading. I think it’s a city that doesn’t stay still and every bit of it throbs with life and love.

street scene

 

Guest post by Shalini of  Shalzmojo

About Shalzmojo

An interior designer by profession, writing is a passion which coupled with travel love blossomed into this blog where I love to just “do my thing”! Be it recipes, food events, travel jaunts, fiction dreaming or even meditative musings; all of it’s taken up quite passionately on my blog. I am a serious wine guzzler and love to chase butterflies in my free time.

Pls do check out my post on the gorgeous south temples of Somnathpur

 This post is written for the December bloghop #mymojo with Shalzmojo

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Postcards From Paris

– The Wanderer

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38 comments

  1. I wholeheartedly endorse your view of visiting one city at a time rather than just making “guest appearances” at a hundred ! I was disappointed with Paris and honestly thought the Eiffel Tower a piece of junk. I understand now why the Parisian govt had once wanted to demolish it…..But I loved the Palace of Versailles and sadly couldn’t really enjoy the other sites you mentioned. So I will have to go to Paris yet again!

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  2. I love having the luxury of many days in one city. You get to know it so much better than if you’re just passing through. I would love to explore all of the gardens and parks in Paris! And I’d love to eat lots of French pastries 😀

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    1. Oh yes Janine thats just the way I like it too; you will love meandering this gorgeous city too. The vibe and buzz here is super infectious and makes you spend time on your own without any qualms!

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  3. I went to Paris quite a lot as a kid but haven’t been back as an adult. This post has definitely made me want to return! I love the fact you didn’t have a set agenda for your days. I usually love packing in loads and loads to my trips and do come home exhausted, but I sometimes long for a restful holiday! Maybe Paris is the place 🙂

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  4. This post once again stimulates me to plan a trip to Paris. I don’t know if you also visited Strasbourg, but I keep hearing such great things about it too!

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  5. I love Paris! I was there two times already, last time on the New Year’s Eve, dancing kizomba on a dance festival! Next time I will go in summer and visit this nice places!

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    1. Thanks Julia – you must and also visit the wine country to sample some wines at some of the world’s best vineyards too!!! I had visited Mumm’s and the expereince was thirlling!

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  6. Wow! This is how you visit Paris in style. I would love to do the same, explore at my own pace and leisure and not be exhausted after a holiday, but it is usually difficult to do when you are with family and on a budget.

    However, currently I have no desire to travel solo, if it does come up then I think I will take your route!

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    1. Yes Namy with a family there are too many choices to cater too – so budget also becomes a big constraint. I hope someday you do go on a solo trip if only just to enjoy the feeling of traveling on your own! Trust me its priceless!!!

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  7. Thanks for a virtual tour of this beautiful city. As Paris is on our travel wish list, your post has given some wonderful insights and information. Will bookmark this post! Thanks for sharing, Shalini!

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  8. I am not into arts and architecture so Paris held little for me except the Eiffel Tower. To be honest I felt it was overrated. I rather enjoyed and am enjoying my time in Switzerland where I love exploring the mountains, lakes and local markets. It was nice reading about your adventures in Paris

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    1. Awww Aks that sad to hear; I loved the buzz in the city and the coexistence of nature with the urban life; loved their bus tours to view the entire city in every direction and Luxembourg gardens were just heavenly!!! I also loved the wine tours I did there!! I look forward to reading your Swiss tales 🙂

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    1. Ohyes Dipanwita – Versailles was just stunning for me and I couldnt get over it till ages; trawling through my archives for this post made me so so nostalgic for this trip once more!!! 🙂

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  9. Ah! Another beautiful post about one of my dream destination PARIS! I agree with shalini when she says “to peruse a city in its every color and aspect; not merely touch the highlighted touristic spots” …. That’s what I do when i travel. I usually ditch vehicles for transport and love to walk around and explore the place in its true color!

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