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November 19, 2012

MY TRIP TO PARIS (part 1)


         
                                                              
      Paris, France! Yeah! Baby! I made it to Paris! Totally unexpected trip as my part time job as a secretary doesn't involve travelling but this came out of nowhere and who would turn down an all expenses paid trip to Paris?  Not me!!! So I packed my suitcase with warm clothes as cold weather was expected in the 2 1/2 days that I would be there and off to the airport I went.

      I was so thrilled as I had never been to Paris before. I had spent endless hours researching all the hot spots I could visit on such a short trip with an already busy schedule. We had to attend a conference at UNESCO's headquarters in Paris with my (lady) boss and the rest of the time I had to rush trough as many sights as I possibly could!

      The weather was not helping my photoshooting but at least, it didn't rain. That would have been catastrophic!

      With my well planned itinerary in one hand and a map in the other hand I set off to visit first of all, what else, but the Eiffel Tower.


      I was getting excited as it slowly started to appear between or behind buildings!

      There it was! All I had to do was cross a long park and I'd be able to go up this world famous landmark!



A nice little garden with a water fountain at the feet of the Eiffel Tower!
      At 4:30 pm on a gloomy November Thursday I patiently and anxiously waited for 40 minutes in line to get the elevator that would take me up this tower. To be honest, I wasn't expecting this much tourism during this season. I can't imagine what the lines would be during the summer!


(One of the things that made an impression on me was that at the Eiffel Tower, as well as at almost all the other sights I visited, there were signs alarming the visitors of pick pockets! So I was extra careful with my purse and camera!)


      A monstrous giant iron construction.


      I made it to the second floor as the top was closed for repairs. Bummer! Still, the view was breathtaking! I could see all of Paris spreading to the end of the horizon!

      Unfortunately, I don't have photos taken from the Eiffel Tower as I was videotaping only. I could add a video but I was talking through the whole shooting so that I can share later with the family and it would be 'all Greek to you!" Hahaha!





      Next stop of course, was the cathedral of Notre Dame De Paris which in French means "Our Lady of Paris". WOW! That's all I have to say! Absolutely fascinating! It is actually located on a small island on the Seine river. The Seine river runs through Paris.


      No, I didn't meet Quasimodo but I did see the gargoyles!




This is the left side!


Can you see some gargoyles?




They're everywhere!




          The left side entrance.



It is the best preserved, if not the oldest, cathedral of Gothic architecture.



      At the back side of the cathedral there was a cute little park with benches and this fountain with the Virgin Mary holding little Jesus.



      Right at the corner there was a Cafe (coffee shop) that was named what else?
"Esmeralda" !!! Cute?! LOL!

The imposing dimensions of the church takes your breath away


      Back to the front and the main entrance. The intricate work on this temple is unbelievable! Look at the close ups! Notice the statue in the middle!






WOW!


      Three main entrances. Do you see the sculpting?

      Not visible in the photo but it has angels on one side and demons on the other side of Christ (the big statue in the middle) who is stepping on two snakes.



      As I entered the cathedral I was taken aback by its size! Impressive interior with a high vaulted central nave. It had two long aisles on the left and right sides separated from the main area by columns. (Sorry, the photos are a little dark but the church was poorly lit. Nevertheless, that added to the solemn, devout atmosphere!)

      I really appreciated the fact that there were signs in the cathedral asking visitors to be quiet because it may be a tourist attraction but still it is a church and one has to respect that! It would be really an awesome experience to be able to attend the Sunday mass.   

      What can one say about the medieval rose windows with the stained glass? I was just in awe at their beauty!

      The stained glass windows were exquisite! I had never seen such detailed design and colors. Look!







... and then there was the main altar!


 Getting near was not allowed and I had to zoom in to have a closer look.





      I must say, that "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" definitely took a completely new meaning for me after visiting the cathedral.



      Check out part 2 of my trip and random photos of Paris as I took many photos that couldn't possibly fit in one post! ("Deranged Greek woman sighted in Paris photographing Everything!")


Have you ever been to Paris?
What were your impressions of it?
Or if not, what are your impressions after seeing my photos?












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18 comments:

  1. Unfortunately I've never been to Paris but your photos help a lot...me dreaming of been there...
    Thank you for sharing. Anyone could find photos of Paris searching the Internet but your photos make me believe that I am walking at the streets and visiting places. It's fantastic! merci!!!

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    1. You are just so nice! Thanks, friend!

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  2. Beautiful pictures! Paris is def on the list of places to see!

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    1. Thanks! I think the best time to go would be spring. And be prepard for long lines!

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  3. The hubs flew to Paris to meet me when my work conference ended. Yes, we swung a 'work' conference to this gorgeous city. Unfortunately my experience SUCKED! The flight left our luggage behind (all my colleagues too). The hubs' flight was delayed and I waited beneath the Eiffel Tower (our romantic meeting place) for THREE hours in the rain. Worse than that we stayed out late one night and couldn't get back to our hotel! The subway was closed, no taxis (it was a holiday) and I had heels on. We had to walk miles to get to our cheap ass hotel on the outskirts of town. Paris is a dirty word in our house;) Maybe we'll go back one day and do it right! Your pictures are great:)

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    1. Oh! NO! What an awful experience to have of Paris! So sorry!

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  4. Absolutely amazing. How lucky can you get that a part time job results in a trip to Paris. Can't wait to see the next post!

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    1. I know I couldn't believe it myself!

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  5. we spent our honeymoon (read week) in Paris...it was nice but really tiring. Too many things to see, too little time...My favourite part was the visit to the Louvre. we needed two days to cover it but it was fantastic...oh, and the food, of course :)
    Enjoy your time and keep us posted:)

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    1. I know what you mean! I didn't even bother entering any buildings cause I had no time. Seeing museums from the outside was good enough for me this time around. I only entered the Notre Dame cause it was going to be quick (and cheap: no entrance fee, except for the towers)!

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  6. It was so nice to see these pictures!!! I went to Paris many, MANY years ago after college with a group of students and we had a marvelous time. Seeing these pictures brought it all back. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. I'm glad I could offer you a flashback!

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  7. I went to Paris for my 40th birthday (now a year and a half ago) I now feel like I spend a part of every week trying to figure out how I can get back. I truly fell in love!

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    1. Must say, Paris is beautiful, so many things to see. I'd love to go back with more free time and explore it!

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  8. Thanks for sharing Paris with all of us! I've never been there, but my mom visited there recently. I'll be sharing your blog with her too.

    Thanks for your parenting advice too!!!

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  9. Thanks for the photos! What an experience! I'm glad to read your commentary..I would have been so nervous after reading the signs about pick pockets..I also would have been a prime target while staring at all of the beautiful sights..:)

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    1. To be honest it did make me a liitle apprehensive and was not at ease!

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  10. Wow these are beautiful now I want to go on a trip. Yikes pick pockets. That would stress me out!

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