Thursday, January 14, 2016

[PARIS] Romantic Paris


This blog entry is accidental, sort of. I ran out of space in the other ones and my side trip to Champs-Élysées was suddenly nowhere to be found, which I think is rather unfair because the place itself is really nice, as well as its surroundings. Anyway, this all happened before the catacombs and after the Eiffel Tower. I had three hours to spend on two consecutive nights, and so I chose this one to see the Arc de Triomphe, and reserved the final night for Moulin Rouge and Montmartre.


I got off at Champs-Élysées-Clemenceau because the plan was to take a stroll from there and end up two or three metro stations away at either George V or Charles de Gaulle-Étoile. From there, I would then take the metro back to where I came from. Easy as pie! Well, I must warn you that the stop I mentioned is also home to the Grand Palais, which will hold you hostage once you surface from the metro. Why? It’s a magnificent structure to say the least, and that’s just the façade.


They were hosting an expo of sorts when I passed by. There weren’t many people, just enough to say that the event is legit. There are security personnel guarding the area, which made it a bit awkward to take photos, but I still did it and they did not react anyway. If you don’t have either time or money for the exhibition inside, admiring the architecture from the outside is also worth the effort. And of course, you can spend quite some time here for selfies!


The selfies won’t end because there’s another palace right across the street. This one is called the Petit Palais, which is a fine arts museum building. Do not ask me about the opening hours. Again, I was an accidental tourist in this area. My main goal was Champs-Élyées and the Arc de Triomphe! The sightseeing does not end here because directing your gaze towards the south, you will see the Seine River and the Pont Alexandre III, which is a really good looking bridge.


The bridge is adorned with pretty angels and lions doing their best to look cool. As you might have forgotten, you are at the city of lights, and if you arrive just in time, you’ll witness the Eiffel Tower’s light show from a distance. The view is plain awesome as black and yellow converge on the surface of the river, blurring your vision. The angels and the lions serve as good subjects for photography, with such stunning background to make the picture even more interesting.


Across the river are more palaces and gardens to see, but I just didn’t have the time so I slowly backed away to explore what I really went there for. The avenue is quite a long one, stretching all the way to Porte Maillot where you find the airport buses headed to Beauvais. You will be passing through two metro stations to get from Clemenceau to the Arc de Triomphe, although I really suggest taking a leisurely stroll because walking down that avenue is an experience in itself.


It took me around half an hour of walking to get to the arc, but the weird thing is that it felt so near, perhaps because of its grand stature. It always feels so close because of its grandeur, until you check out what time it is and realize that you’ve been walking for quite some time now. The avenue is home to a plethora of shops, cinemas, and all the modern creature comforts you ought to find. This is just as romantic as it is capitalistic.


Well yeah, the concept of romance is subjective. If you’re in a relationship with a materialistic person who lives to shop, this trip will definitely be a highlight of your relationship, which sounds cool and sad at the same time. For those who adore a lovely evening stroll but have anti-consumerist tendencies, you would also enjoy somehow with the Arc de Triomphe in sight. Taking a selfie there could be quite a challenge by the way, given how it’s actually a rather busy roundabout with vehicles aplenty.

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