Paris

 

Paris is a great city with lots of things to do, you can easily spend a week here and still not have enough time to see everything.

A great time to be in Paris is on 14th July, Bastille Day. I was there in summer 2002 - the atmosphere was fantastic. In the evening crowds of people flocked to the area below the Eiffel Tower. The more fortunate actually had tickets to ascend the Eiffel Tower.

There were two enormous balloons, one either side of the Trocadero. A spectacular film show was shown on the huge balloons. The history of France was spoken by an actor playing the part of Victor Hugo, with pictures and film explaining how the country became a Republic. It culminated in rousing music from Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture - which includes the French National Anthem. Then came the pièce de résistance - a fantastic fireworks display. If you are in Paris on 14th July, don't miss this event.

There are so many things to do in Paris. You could go for a boat trip on the Seine on a 'bateau mouche' or visit one of the famous art museums, such as the Louvre. A really interesting place to wander around at night is the Latin Quarter, a small area of narrow streets full of restaurants and small shops. The area comes alive in the evenings - you can watch the chefs cooking the food on grills in the restaurant windows as they try to tempt you to eat there.


Eiffel Tower

This is the most famous landmark in Paris - designed and built by Gustav Eiffel in the late 1800's. Eiffel also designed the framework for the Statue of Liberty.

You can either climb the many stairs up to the second stage, or take the lift (although you may have to queue for a long while). There are some very interesting exhibitions and a film show about how the Eiffel Tower was built, also photos of the Millenium fireworks display. For an even better view you could take the small lift up to the very top of the tower - if you have a good head for heights.

The view from the Eiffel Tower is fantastic. On a clear day you can see for miles, and more disconcertingly you can even feel the tower swaying in the wind.


Disneyland Paris

If you have children, or are even just young at heart, no trip to Paris is complete without a visit to Disneyland Paris. This is a great day out (or even 2 days) with plenty to keep the children happy!


Château de Versailles

After having great fun at Disney, the children might be prepared to put up with a bit of culture if you want to visit the Château de Versailles, 12 miles from the centre of Paris. This Chateau is really impressive, although you could quite happily spend a few hours wandering around the surrounding gardens, or punting on the lake.


Monet's Garden

If you like the impressionist artist Claude Monet's work, you may want to visit his House and Gardens at Giverny, an easy day trip from Paris. If you visit the gardens, you can see the famous lily ponds and the green Japanese bridge that feature in some of his paintings. See the Claude Monet Foundation web site.


Visit the following links for more information on Paris and the surrounding area.

Click on pictures to see full size photos

Arc de Triomphe
Arc de Triomphe



Fireworks
Fireworks - Bastille Night



Eiffel Tower
Eiffel Tower



Disneyland
Disneyland



Versailles
Château de Versailles



Monet's Garden
Monet's Garden
 
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