How many men asked “would you marry me?” while in Paris? How many couples go to Paris for their anniversary?
Where is the perfect “petit déjeuner” and where food, in general, is cooked like in movies and also tastes surreal?
Where all planes from Europe go at both high and low prices?
Where you can find everything from bread 🥖 and cheese 🧀 to planes ✈️ and satellite rockets?🚀
Where kids can have the most fun, and where are the best museums?
Where is the second best-known Palace in the world?
Where was I sent by my company for the first time?
Well, the last one is actually easy to respond to -> Paris! … to work…
But that didn’t stop me from leaving work at night and wondering the boulevards! And I still had the weekends.🤫
I will say something that would make a bit angry both Parisians and people of London:
Here in Paris, they have many garbage bins. London is also clean… in the central area…
But the point I try to make is that you can use street lights or bins as your tripods to take more awesome photos than hand-held. (if walking for hours with a tripod is your thing then this paragraph was not for you)
Just like London, and other big cities, crowded by history and tourists, Paris invites all to come and visit. In fact, you probably heard of this romantic city in books, while reading the classics. Or you saw Paris for the first time in a movie (in which the main action is in fact in the USA, but they make a small trip to Paris because why not).
For Paris, one week is not enough… only if you want to do like I did -> street museum (which is great btw). These people cut the branches of trees so they are square and not… you know… tree-like. So even that is wow (while you see this in Alice in Wonderland, in London I did not have this feeling of magic while walking)
They have beautiful cathedrals and one is so famous that, I think, is known in the whole world! And you know why? Because it is in movies, animations, books, paintings, music, news, Instagram and maybe it will be framed in recreation room from a spaceship. (Notre-Dame de Paris)
Next week’s article will contain a series of short-clips where I show a round trip that I made some 4 years ago. So stay tuned for that article, as I will show quite a lot of Paris too.
Since I lost my photos (I had one Drive to rule them all… bad, bad decision…) I will show you a collection of photos saved from my Behance portfolio, so… some photos will not have extra information printed on them, and those are made with my fathers great Nikon D5000 with the kit lens. (thank you, Dad, for lending me your camera and teachings! ) For all the others, the camera was the Canon 760D + 18-135mm STM or 18-35mm Sigma Art
High Gate, my first project done in Paris, which shows my wonder of how tall buildings can make you feel small -> La Defence.
The first time I ever saw these skyscrapers, I was as impressed as of the Eiffel Tower. Actually not in the same way.
When you actually see the Tower in person, in front of you, just as you go out from the underground station is so breathtaking, in all moments of the day, in all kinds of weather conditions. I never knew that one tower that is printed on everything, and I mean even on diamonds, could still amaze someone that saw Paris 2 months, day and night.
Everywhere you look there is no taller building than it.
So next thing I thought to myself: Hey how are skyscrapers?
To get to La Defence, I advise you to take the subway and not the train, or tram, as with the underground you can sit right in front, next to the front window, and see these colossal buildings just aiming to the sky. I am no Tolkien to try to describe you the feeling but is so beautiful 😍 . And since most tourists (on working days) stay in Paris, La Defence and the first row seats awaits you.
As you can see, there are lots of colours and lots of shapes and a huge ARCH that sits in straight line with Arc de Triomphe. (you can barely see it in my image, as it is far far away. Also a bit to the left you can see a bit better the Tower)
A great cover photo for a SF book.
Even regular, apartment buildings look great or just interesting.
I am kinda sad I don’t have all my pictures to show you guys how great this place can be if you are curious and you love photography (even with the phone). There are tons of artistic “corners” where colour meets more colour. So playing with depth of field is a must and also listening to music while you do that so that it gets you in a mood. Switch the type of music, and go back to take some more photos. (magic right?)
Now, let’s take out the phone…
Yep, that is right! In London, I have not used one single app to navigate around the city (and outside) but here you definitely need some kind of orientation (if you are as lazy as me)
Well, London has big maps everywhere, and yes, of course, THEY MISS THE I AM HERE DOT or whatever, but you see everything on them. All you need is to remember which station to get out, and not memorise all the route. In Paris, transportation is more diverse and can be harder to navigate and if you don’t speak French, at times your life will become more exciting. 😅
So my app of choice is actually two:
Next Stop Paris – RATP and RATP (which I use the most).
At the same time, you should have Tweeter App, since you can get news on lines that are closed, or trains that are delayed (by hours…), so you don’t wait at the station… In fact, trains getting late or being stopped for the whole day is so frequent, that one day I got at work with two hours later, and almost nobody got angry. They all were supportive and told me that this happens. My bad luck was that to get to work I had to leave at 6:30, catch the 6:55 or 7:05 train, then catch the bus that comes every 20 minutes and then walk some more… Loosing one train can also mean, waiting for 30 minutes for the next one (so here is your 30-minute late arrival at work, presuming you get on the bus)
So when I was not working, but acting as a tourist, I would walk the most part. And Paris can be quite an interesting city museum.
Here is a view from the top of the Montparnasse.
I will tell you a bit of Montparnasse. Is the place where a locomotive got out of the train – station (the same name 😒) and into the road…
Today, there is a modern station and on top of the Tower building, there is a place to see Paris (not cheap btw).
But there is another way to enjoy Paris, once in a lifetime: have a dinner at the restaurant from there. I don’t know what they will cook on the night you get there (be ready to make photos too) but they have an excellent selection of wines and dishes that taste so good. I mean I have never eaten something so good. In fact, I am well aware there are many restaurants that serve 5+ star dishes, but none have the view.
So it was the first time I paid a lot for food, and I more than enjoyed.
When I was hearing from friends or colleagues that they can remember the touch of the sand of some exotic beach, I was thinking to my self: oh what a nice metaphor…
Today, after 4 years, yes I still remember those squares perfectly cooked pork meat that did melt in my mouth. The minutes I tasted that, I called my mom and my closest friend to tell them, stories can be true. So definitely save money from your souvenir shops addiction or expensive boulevard t-shirts, and get yourself a plate of awesomeness.
Speaking of boulevards 😅. In Paris, at Christmas, only in the window-shops it lookes Christmassy…
One of the most famous Domes -> Galeries Lafayette (women section).
Les Invalides -> the place where you find the tomb of Napoleon I.
Staircase in the Louvre Museum.
Museums are super OK. I got to see Egyptian relics, I got to feel (YES, feeeeel ☺️) how the Amazon rainforest is like, I got to touch a Spaceship engine, saw 5 Giraffes, saw human skulls, fancy royal dresses and famous paintings, but…
My favourite part is: walking in the parks that are along the TGV line.
French people don’t just love healthy and tasty food, they also love nature. They still preserve many forests and they walk, run, hike and even do horseback riding. My favourite forest is in Meudon: it is the longest, it actually looks more like forest and not so much like a park (like some parts of Versailles) and they have panels and many routes and lots of people, so you don’t feel too alone when the night comes.
Actually this picture is from Versailles 🤫.
And if you walk like this (outside the well known central area) you get to see ancient Roman artefacts, like this Aqueduct (that is huge and you can almost climb to the top).
Aqueduc de Marly.
In the same area as the Aqueduct, meaning in Yvelines on the domains of Versailles, there are many lakes and many more spots to have picnics.
In fact, this is amazing about Paris and it’s neighbours: They are all so well connected, I mean: on one day, out of the bloom, you take the train, change a subway and here you are in the middle of Paris. From there, you meet your friends and in less than two hours you have a picnic in the forest, where you hear only birds and the sound of the wind. (and you are not 200km away from home, but you can actually walk back home)
Now the best part of Meudon is the Observatory.
Well check this image out:
From here, there is a park btw, you can also see the Eiffel Tower and the many bridges, roads, buildings etc that make Paris a dream city for all ages. But this is not the point actually.
One day, I was on the morning train, going to work like usual, still new to this Paris thing, and as I was staying next to the door (I had no seat available), the train stops at Meudon.
A smell of freshness, of trees of almost mountain, came through the opening doors. After work, I took the journey back, climbed to a steep hill, and on top, I found this observatory. (from the above image). My colleagues told me that rents here are extremely expensive so, there went my dream of ever living there.😂
So yeah, even in the city area, you can smell the fresh air! And suddenly your mornings don’t smell like work, just as you walk outside of your door…
As you probably saw from this article, in Paris and near areas you find all from Hi-tech museums to wild kangaroos 😅 (next time I go to Paris I will take photos of them). Is true that I showcased more about nature this time, as it is the most beautiful place to be while living in a huge Metropolis… At least, I think so.
One of my other projects, besides High Gate and Green Gate, was the Golden Gate:
Most gates in these photos are from Versailles alone or Palaces in the vicinity.
I love Paris, even more than London, for is easier to reach great locations, rich in history and culture and the fact that most people on the street speak French or Mandarin. While in London… Well, that city is not really the best for hearing the authentic accent.
I am sorry to keep comparing two different cultures…
I know that on the island beer is a symbol, here the philosophy is around great coffee ☕️ and croissants 🥐 and cheese why not. Not to forget the wine 🍷 .
Subways are a bit more confusing than on the island, and sometimes you have to take the RER and then the Subway and the Tram too. Is hypnotic and gets you more tired and angry, if you are tired already! At times you get in the underground in full daylight and get out in full nighttime, just to find out that the cemetery where the singer from The Doors is buried, is closed. Pff…
BTW all parks are romantic, and they all close kinda soon (sadly).
In Versailles park, you can go after 18h for free (might depend on the season so check on the internet first). You should definitely go to Versailles park. (watch the clips from next week, please)
If you like reading, and you like to drink a tea or just a beer while you do that, well, in the huge gardens from Versailles, lies one of the many perfect places to do just that.
Get a week pass, is A LOT cheaper than individual tickets, and can save you time. Don’t forget to have on you a picture in Passport format, as you need to put it on your transportation pass Navigo.
You can walk the whole Paris centre on foot, so for those locations no need for public transportation! No need to but Navigo, so save up and eat that money at Montparnasse.
If you wish to go to Disneyland, ask at an Info Point if your pass, has that zone included (even though as of 2018 the passes include all zones, just double check)
And walk in Paris, walk a lot and hear the people. When they swear, it sounds cute and sophisticated.
Get your loved ones and enjoy this city with square trees 🌳, great morning coffees, great parks and great …
Email me what you like the most @Paris 😊
See you next week!