Weekend getaway: Paris

It might sound like a cliche, but the most beautiful city in the world has something that inevitably attracts the romantic souls. Its impossible not to fall in love with Paris: from its narrow streets filled with the smell of backed goods in Le Marais, to its wide avenues stacked with houses of blue roofs and circular windows, the uniqueness of this city is beyond words. In each season, the city of love changes and reinvents itself, offering a variety of colors and a display of arts, fashion, culture and flavor which remain within the soul of the tourist. This is the tale of a trip to the most beautiful city in the world.

The streets of Paris
Paris. In the back: Opera Garnier

Paris is every poet’s dream. Is the unavoidable desire to write a poem when is already coming out of your soul. Is getting a feeling of drunkenness when looking at the Eiffel tower from the Champ-de-Mars, lying on the green grass with a bottle of cheap wine and expensive bread.

Its difficult to even begin to describe something as beautiful as Paris. Or even the reason why it is beautiful. For some, the highly touristic metropolis loses lots of its charm due to the hundreds of people, sellers and sometimes garbage laying on the streets. Nevertheless, these little details are nothing compared to the marvels it has to offer.

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Pont Alexandre over the Seine.

My B&B is a tiny apartment located in the heart of St. Michel. From the window, I can’t see Notre Dame which is only a few meters away, but I do see something very special: life passing by. Some residents, native Parisians preparing breakfast, ironing, watching TV. Living. Through my eyes, the scenario couldn’t be more opposite: I’m perplexed of the naturalness with which this people live their lives in such a beautiful place, inside those blue-roofed and pale houses. I instantly fall in love with its charm.

Notre Dame, Paris
Notre Dame Cathedral.

Notre Dame is a whole experience by itself. If its a high season, you might be up to a lot of frustration, waiting in line for the church to be uncomfortably packed with tourist. This is the reason why the visit ends up lasting only a couple of minutes. Its worth though: I’ve never been to a church with a more religious and sacred feeling: Scarce light comes through the colorful windows, and the dust revolving in the air moves so slow, that the whole church seems to be frozen in time, if not for the tourists contemplating it. A strong Gothic vibe fills the atmosphere ending in a richly decorated altar at the back of the church.

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I’ve said before that every place on earth has its charm and beauty. In Paris, this definition goes beyond this mere meaning of “beauty” as something “unique”, but as something “homogeneously beautiful”. The houses and buildings are typical to this city and in many cases, to the Gothic style imposed here. The small details, the trees, the tourists filling the streets, the sellers yelling, the packed subway, the sweet smell in the air… everything belongs to a Parisian atmosphere, and everything fits just right and has a place of its own here. Everything feels as if it had been there forever.

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Inside Gothic Notre Dame.

 

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River promenade along the Seine. 

From the Ile de la cité to the Place du Trocadero and beyond, runs the Sena river. Along the river, there’s a wonderful walk worth to take: if you look to either side, you can see some impressive architecture, statues and parks. Paris is anything but boring, with every corner more beautiful than the next one. In autumn, leaves of earthy and orange tones cover the floor, and you can hear them crunch as you enjoy the magnificent sight. In winter, dried trees are covered in lights and a Christmassy atmosphere surrounds the walk, inviting you to drink a hot chocolate or even a hot wine at the Champs Elysees. In some blocks there are even sellers offering handcrafts, postcards, vintage pictures, posters, paintings and books along the river. Watch out: They might not be very thrilled about speaking English.

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Many people say that the best view of Paris is from the Eiffel tower, because you can’t see it. I disagree. I can’t say if many Parisians like it; I’m sure many of them avoid getting close to this zone due to the amount of tourists, but it has became a symbol of some of the most unique things humanity has seed on earth: unity, commitment, freedom (and the spirit of protest itself) art, beauty… Even of the craziness (insanity?) to which our dreams guide us. Like that guy who tried to fly from the top of it.

Le Marais is definitely one of my favorite places. Its variety mixes with the romantic atmosphere of the city, giving as a result a multicultural contrast of bakeries, restaurants, craft shops, museums (such as Picasso’s), stores, and many surprises. Another marvelous corner in Marais worth mentioning is Place de Vosges, near the house of the Author of Les Miserables, Victor Hugo. Following the architectural style of the city, de Vosges is impressively symmetrical, and a perfect spot to relax and enjoy the atmosphere.

In a few days, I’ve only discover some of the treasures in Paris. Many remain there waiting for me to come, as I’ve done every year since my first trip some 5 years ago. But I will never get bored of this place, and will always find a couple of beautiful lines to describe this amazing and unique city. As a poet madly in love with it.

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