End of April and then again, I went on another little escapade, not that I did not plan it before, but my plans changed several times for various different reasons.
This time the visit was to the lovely city of Paris, the capital of love, where I have been several times, but never actually ever written about. Countless memories, with family, friend and special others, that I can only be appreciative for the moments lived there with an array of wonderful and diverse people.
Paris is not only the fashion hub of the world but also of art, culture and cuisine, (despite the lack of understanding of veganism). Where there is always a glimpse of something delightful around the corner.
LONDON TO PARIS – Eurostar
I planned this trip back in December and Eurostar ticket only cost me a £58 round trip, which for me is a real bargain considering that compared to flying, travellers depart and arrive at the city centre and need only to arrive at the station 45 minutes prior to arrival. I am very familiar with the Eurostar service and for me, the journey has been always calm and pleasant (despite the poor and expensive options of snacks at the onboard café). The trick with Eurostar is to buy the tickets as soon as they become available into the reservation system, which is 120 days before departure.
My original trip date was for March but due to personal reason, I had to change, which was followed for 5 more other dates changes due to the French customs strike…Brexit tests…and endless other reasons, well I guess you all know about French strikes, as they do it very often, so no surprise there. Long queues at the stations did not appeal to me at all so I did exchange several times my tickets (free of charge of course) until I felt it was more reliable times: End of April.
During my journey, this quick two-day trip went extremely smoothly with Eurostar trains outbound and inbound for my journey running both on time, without any long queues at all and smooth process. I must have been really lucky as I don’t think I ever done immigration process, check-In & out so efficiently in any other journey in the past, there you go, happy and lucky me.
THE LOUVRE MUSEUM
As I mentioned before, I had been to Paris several times before, however, I felt like was somehow I needed to go on my own, so that I could explore at my own pace, without having to worry about anyone else’s agenda. First thing on my list, straight from Gare du Nord to Musee Du Louvre station, not before having a quick coffee with my new friend Zohre.
The Louvre was the most visited museum in the world in 2018, with over 10 million visitors.! The museum was originally built as a fortress castle in the 12 centuries but later in the 16 centuries, it became a royal palace, serving home of many French kings from 1546 until 1692. During the French revolution, it was decided the Louvre was to be used as a museum to display nations most valuable pieces of art.
Currently, the Louvre collections are comprised of eight differences areas, which include Egyptian, Greek and Roman antiquities as well as Islamic and decorative prints, sculpture and paintings, and includes over 380000 objects. They are all scattered all around the three wings, which are also interlinked.
Reading through various forums and internet advised about access to the museum, I found out that if I access the museum by the Le Carrousel Du Louvre, by going down the external stairs, this is an underground shopping area, located right next to The Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel Monument, would be much easier, since by the main entrance which is by the Glass Pyramid, there is always a very long queue and crowds.
The entry is free for residents of the European Union under 26 years old. But since I am on the age that I have to pay for everything! I just got my normal adult ticket at the machine, after going through security X-Ray. The cost 15 Euros plus an audio guide for an extra 5 euros. No delays, very straightforward process, hence I set to a full afternoon of discovery, spending over 4 hours walking slowly through various areas. There is a handy map explaining the areas of the Museum, which can be obtained from the information desk. I very handy and nice touch is that the museum has a cloakroom free of charge, so people can leave the rucksacks and stroll heavy less around for as long as they want. This was very suitable for as I did not want to carry mine at all! The cloakroom fundamentally works the same way as a safety book at a hotel, easy way in and out to get your belongings.
The Louvre is comprised of three different wings, named after important people in French history. The Denon Wing, Richelieu Wing and the Sully wing.
The Sully Wing, named in memory of Maximilien de Bethune, Duke of Sully, considered a man who transformed the country into agriculture and commerce. Sully wing is one of the oldest areas in the museum. Once you entered you find a series of medieval city walls pathways. I found the path easy to follow and fascinating the various object and pieces that tell the whole story of the museum from the middle ages, a history that has clearly been hand in hand with the evolution of the fast-growing city of Paris
My favourite pieces are shown below:
The Denon wing named in memory of the first director of the museum, Dominique-Vivant Denon. This wing holds famous pieces of Italian and French paintings and also Greek, Roman and Etruscan antiquities.
The Richelieu Wing named in memory of Cardinal Armand Jean du Plessis, a French bishop and faithful minister of Louis XIII who is considered a patron of the arts and creator of the French Academy. I did not visit this wing myself but as an overview, this wing includes the apartments of Napoleon as well as several French and other European paintings and sculptures as well as decorative arts from the middle ages, Mesopotamia & Ancient Iran.
THE CAVEAU DE LA HUCHETTE
I wanted to visit this place since I learned, in my last visit to Liverpool in March, that the famous The Cavern Club creation was inspired by this place, which is also constructed via with tunnels and thick brick arches. Entry 13 Euros.Swedish trumpeters Bjorn Ingelstam. I truly enjoyed watching the couples dancing away the night while listening to this wonderful artist and swing band.
PARC DE LA VILLETTE
This was my last visit before returning back to London. I had the pleasure to be accompanied by Zohre, who not only taught a lot of new French worlds but also walked with me to discover this area also new to her.
My picture below features La Geode, a beautiful 36 metres in diameter dome, designed by Adrien Fainsilber. It is a mirror-like-structure composed of stainless steels that form a sphere that reflects the sky, truly a stunning piece of art in the middle of the parc.
I also enjoy a CS French – English language interchange, at a pub in the Rue de La Huchette, with my friends Zohre and had a long stroll by the promenade of Seine River, enjoying the view of various cruises passing by and the beautiful Pont Neuf.CLICK ME TO WATCH FULL CLIP OF PARIS BY JENNY
A walk in Paris provides lessons in history, beauty, and in the point of Life. – Thomas Jefferson
Je ne regrete rien!