Last year, I had the opportunity to visit Paris. I was able to see many tourist attractions, sample their great food & wine, and I also caught the Bastille Day fireworks. Bastille Day is France’s national holiday, held every year on July 14th. Similar to our Independence day, there’s usually a spectacular fireworks show and parades scheduled.
A group of my friends & family chartered a bus from Amsterdam to Paris and we spent about 5 days there. Church La Madeleine was beautiful, it made me think of the Parthenon in Greece for some reason. If you visit the Eiffel Tower, be sure to see it at night if you’re traveling with your significant other. On Bastille Day, it was lit up with a brilliant combination of blue and purple colors. There are large barges that serve dinner on the Seine river for about $100 USD per person, but prices may have fluctuated significantly due to economy. They drop the passengers off at the Eiffel Tower so you could walk off your meal afterward and enjoy the view.
While walking through the city during the day, you may want to walk through the Royal Palace Gardens. The area has been in many movies, but the only one I can remember is “The Happening” by M. Night Shyamalan because it was on TV recently. From there, you can walk over to Musee du Louvre. If you want to go into this museum make sure to wake up very early. Considered one of the top tourist sites in Paris, it’s popularity exploded after Dan Brown’s book “The Da Vinci Code” hit the shelves. Directly in front of the museum you can see the Arc du Carrousel. Looking through the doorway of this arch from the Louvre, you can see the Arc de Triomphe.
Now that we reviewed many of the tourist hot spots, let’s talk about the food. If you have ever had a fresh croissant in Paris, you know what I’m about to say. You MUST taste a fresh croissant in Paris, possibly followed by a fresh baguette as well. I woke up at 6am on my vacation, to walk to a bakery so I can get the first croissants out of the oven. It was like eating a piece of heaven. For lunch, I recommend going to Chinatown located 20 minutes south of La Madeleine by train. There you must begin your quest for the “Vietnamese Sandwich.” This sandwich is made with sliced roast pork, some veggies, spicy peppers, all on a fresh baguette. This may be a little high-priced, but in my opinion well worth it. Make sure you make reservations way in advance for La Tour D’Argent. They specialize in duck dishes and wines. They sell so many ducks, they have numbered each one prepared. When you leave, you receive a postcard with ID of the duck you have eaten that night.
If you have a free day, take the rail to the Palace of Versailles. On the tour of the palace, you have the freedom to tour the gardens and all the rooms in the palace. The palace is so wondrous and beautiful, they have special headsets that translate info of each room in the tour in your own language. The gardens are so vast you can take a shuttle or rent a Segway on go on a personal tour. The personal Segway tour of the gardens takes 2 hours, but it’s lots of fun and much less tiring. I hope you this article helps you out on your trip there. Feel free to view the new picture gallery.