After a few hours of scrambling from one train to the next, we finally made it!
We were bone tired but overwhelmingly excited to arrive at the City of Lights. We couldn't wait to get acquainted with the legendary sights, sounds, and smells of Paris.
P: Being the military history geek that I am, I was pretty psyched to spot all the names of the generals and cities that played a part in Napoleon's conquests.
D: What he said. :D
The tomb of the unknown soldier
After taking in the Arc de Triomphe, we decided to branch out to the world-famous Avenue des Champs-Elysees, but more on that in a separate post.
Here are the key spots that we passed and photographed on our walking tour:
THE GRAND PALAIS
PONT ALEXANDRE III
Pont Alexandre is well-known for being the most ornate and extravagant bridge in Paris. It spans the River Seine, from Champs Elysees to Invalides to the Eiffel Tower.
We just had to stop and gawk at the view of the iconic Eiffel Tower.
Quick trivia from Wiki: In the movie of Anastasia, Rasputin damages this bridge in an attempt to kill Anastasia, the real-life granddaughter of Alexandre III!
JARDIN DES TUILERIES
D: This was one of my favorite stops on day 1. It was a gorgeous sprawling park with a outdoor fair because it was the summer season. Everyone seemed to be having a grand old time, reclining in benches, jogging, reading a good book, enjoying a snow cone, and just generally, living the sweet life in the middle of the city.
D: I remember seeing dozens of fashion editorials shot in this famed garden and now I understand why. It's the perfect setting because it instantly prettifies anything! The rows of symmetrical trees and lavish fountains made for picture-perfect shots all the time.
The smell of lavender was wafting everywhere thanks to this random field of flowers.
NOTRE DAME DE PARIS
(PLUS QUICK OUTFIT DETAILS)
(Redhead sheer tank, Topshop shorts, H&M flats and bag, random hot pink tights)
This outfit was a result of a fit I threw over having absolutely nothing to wear. P threw the pair of tights at me when I asked him what to wear and that's how this came about. I have no idea how Rosanna was able to do her 15/30 challenge.
(Topman shirt and pants, Office shoes, Muji bag)
Decided to bring a bag along so D wouldn't have to carry all our travel essentials (giant water bottles, maps, and thick guide book). Unfortunately, the sights are infinitely more interesting than my outfit so please read on.
By a stroke of good fortune, we ended up in this breathtaking Church just in time for Sunday mass. We missed the English service but there was something charming about hearing mass in French. It was also a great feeling that everyone was able to follow along (French-speaking or not) because the flow of events was pretty much the same.
The "peace-be-with-you" portion was also especially heartwarming because everyone really took the time to shake hands, hug, and give pats on the back to their neighbors, strangers or otherwise. There was a definite air of kinship because of this, much better than just mumbling unintelligibly or giving imperceptible nods.
We capped off the day with a sunset view of the Seine between the Ile de la Cite (site of the Notre Dame) and the rest of the city.
More on Paris soon!