Paris has been my dream holiday for ages. I love the culture, French films, the history and the language. Paris has a magical allure with it’s museums, galleries, cobbled streets and rich history of the arts. So when my boyfriend and I were talking about going away at the end of June, I desperately wanted to go to Paris!
We could only go for a few days but we packed a lot in a short space of time; I am now recovering before going back to the daily grind!
We flew over on Wednesday 27th June to Beauvais Paris airport and got a coach to the city centre. After dropping our things off at the hotel, we got the Metro and headed to the Sacré-Cœur. It was warm but rainy, but we are British and live in Manchester so I was pretty used to that!
It was beautiful inside with religious gold mosaics and they had a service going on, which was pretty weird as loads of tourists walked past them! We walked around Montmartre and had a coffee in the square, before taking the Metro again and looking for somewhere to have dinner.
The next day we got up early and headed to the Rodin Museum which I had pre-booked and looking forward to. We strolled through a beautiful sculpture garden in the sunshine and a clear sky. Below you can see his famous sculpture of the Thinker.
After the Rodin Museum we walked to the Eiffel Tower. It was mega busy with tourists and people selling trinkets, so we didn’t go up. Instead we got ice cream and sat in the park next to the famous landmark.
By this point it was very warm and sunny, and I needed some shade! We got the Metro (this time a double decker train!) and headed to the Musée d’Orsay that my Dad had recommended. On the banks of the River Seine, this building used to be the Orsay railway station built in the 1900. It is now a museum to mostly French art and sculpture including Monet, Degas, Cézanne and Van Goth.
After this we then got the Metro to the Notre-Dame and by this time I was well and truly knackered! It was near here, almost by accident, that we saw the Shakespeare and Company Bookshop my Dad had mentioned a while ago. It sells English books and was founded by an American George Whitman.
By the time we got back to our hotel we were completely exhausted!
The next day we got up a little later and got some breakfast at the bakery downstairs, freshly baked pan au chocolate! We then walked to the Père Lachaise Cemetery which was close to where we were staying. I saw on the map it was big but I was shocked by it’s size. And the tombs were immense! At the front it has the locations of famous people’s graves including Jim Morrison and Edith Piaf. It was a beautiful and calm place to walk within such a vibrant and busy city. We eventually found Oscar Wilde’s grave and placed on the screen in front of it was a tiny rubber duck!
We then got the Metro to go and see the Paris Catacombs, but when we saw the size of the queue we decided not to spend our last day waiting around and headed to the Centre Pompidou. This was one of my favourite places, because I love modern art so much but also because the building itself was really cool.
As well as being a public library, it is also the largest museum in Europe for Modern Art. We got to see a David Hockey Retrospective which was very interesting and some great pieces from the Dada movement, including Duchump’s Urinal.
Some of my favourite pieces included Chagall, Marc, Picasso and Kandkinsy. By this point our feet were aching from all the walking, so we went on a boat tour down the River Seine for an hour. This was a relaxing way to see all the buildings and two islands with the guide explaining in French and English some of the history of Paris.
It was such a wonderful trip and even though my French is pretty bad, I cannot wait to go back and try speaking it better one day! I got lots of postcards and feel inspired. Looking forward to my next art projects with a new zest for life!
Adieu City of Lights!