Audrey Hepburn said in her movie "Sabrina."
Nicolas Barreau wrote a book with the same title and published it in 2014.
Indeed, Paris is a great place to visit, at least. No wonder Paris is attracting 32-35 million tourists a year.
France has a population of 66 million of which 2.2 million call Paris home. Its land size is 644K sq. km including overseas departments and territories, ranking the third in Europe. France is proud of its rich history and background in so many areas, including foods, art, music, culture, architecture, agriculture, and even technology. Recent slowdown in its economy may have humbled a bit, but France stands quite tall in many areas.
I have been to Paris a few times, but only briefly. So my experience of Paris has been partial and sketchy. Moreover, I had my wallet picked and Kristin got her purse almost snatched away in 1997 when we came with our two daughters. So I have a mixed feeling towards Paris.
Usually we love to use the Hop-on, Hop-off bus to explore a new city. It is cost-effective and convenient. But I found it ineffective in Paris due mainly to heavy traffic jams all over the city. Instead, we used the metro for unlimited rides with a day pass and walked whenever possible.
The first place we visited was Notredam of Paris. This is where I got my pocket picked. So we were a little weary, but it was early in the morning. The line was far too long to enter the cathedral. We settled for walking around the cathedral and by the Seine River.
After the Museum, we walked through the Garden of Louvre. There were amusement facilities for children and family in the garden. Many people were strolling or enjoying their rest time in the shade. We joined those who strolled around.
We passed by the statue of Jeanne d'Arc (Joan of Arc). She helped Charles VII of France turn around from continuing defeats in the final years of the 100 years' war against England and eventually win. She died at the age of 19. She was declared a heroine by Napoleon and remains as such. Also, she was beatified and canonized by the Vatican as a saint. What a life she lived!
Place de la Concorde was right outside the Garden of Louvre. At the center was an obelisk. Facing the obelisk, you can find twin buildings on the right hand side and on the left hand side you can see the Parliament Building in distance. Beyond the obelisk, you can see the Champs Elysees stretch all the way to Arc de Triomphe.
We also visited L'Opera that is located in Palais Garnier. We took au audio guided tour. Its grandeur of the architecture, sculptures well coordinated with marble stones and velvet colors was splendid.
We also visited La Madeleine Church that looked like Pantheon. It was under renovation.
We took the metro to get off at Pussy Station and walked on a bridge that is slightly away from the Eiffel Tower so that we can have a better view. It was a wonderful decision because that bridge was not crowded at all and we were able to stroll and enjoyed the majestic view of the Tower without being pushed by the crowd. We found several newly wed couples who were trying to take the photos with the Tower. Interestingly, most of them were Asian. Huh...
We walked over to the dock where we took the Seine River cruise that departed from the Eiffel Tower to Norte Dame de Paris and returned. The Seine River... It sounded so romantic when I was a high school student. Later when I first visited and saw it, I was deeply disappointed by its small size and unclean-looking water. It became dis-romantic. This time, however, I found the Seine River quite attractive again. The water was not as bad as the water I saw in Venice and other rivers, such as the Danube River. Also, I saw so many people sitting down at the river banks, sunbathing and walking on the banks. It was peaceful and relaxing.
On the way, the cruise boat passed under the famous Lovers Bridge. There were far too many love-locks at the bridge. So the city government removed all the locks and kept people from placing the locks again. On another bridge, part of the locks was moved as the mark of the history. Too bad.
Without counting all the metros we took and the boat cruise we sat down, we walked more than 25,000 steps after all. It was quite a full day, but we felt there were still a lot more to explore. To name a few, Montmarte, Moulin Rouge, Ecole Militaire, Champ de Mars, Jardin du Champ de Mars, Basilique du Sacre-Coeur. Well, we never plan to master the city. Perhaps next time.
Paris is always a good idea. Indeed. - Jeffrey