Given a choice between Paris and Amsterdam, I think I'd be happier to revisit Amsterdam. It is less pretentious, people are more fun and more importantly - they ALL speak English and don't turn up their snooty French noses at you because you can't say more than Merci Beaucoup! Also Amsterdam is cosier, tinier, less dirtier...I could go on and on.
These are however not reason enough to not enjoy Paris for what it is worth. There are definitely smaller, cosier and less expensive cities to holiday in than Paris, but never make the mistake of not including Paris atleast once in your European journey. The bistros, the monuments, the museums - history lives and rests here - much like London. Though between London and Paris, I'd still choose London and bear a bad sandwich than eat well amidst French snootiness.
So in the last of my three part series, I'm going to put together some of my favourite pictures which is meant to serve as memory cards of must-visit places if you are going with just a couple of days to spend in these places..
Call it touristy, call it "Ohhh, that's just soo predictable", but you can't go to Paris and not watch Eiffel Tower lit up. It beckons you from far, though it must also be said that by day, it looks like any other microwave tower across the world!
Don't forget to walk down the Champs-Elysees that takes you from the Arc de Triomphe down...I have a dumb touristy shot of the Arc, so instead I thought I'd guide you with this picture..:)
Don't forget the stroll down the Seine. Paris is prettiest by the banks of the Seine, go further in and the dirt and filth and the grime of cosmopolitan life will assault you like any other city, I guess!
The Louvre - must go atleast to assuage your curiosity about Mona Lisa. As many would have told you before there are far many more impressive paintings and displays to see at the Louvre. However, its a very impressive complex, if you have any interest in architecture or museums or even if you don't have interest in any of this, don't miss one darshan.
Did you know that Notre Dame was the official landmark for Paris till the Eiffel Tower came along and stole its thunder? But I think I prefer the Sacre Couer to Notre Dame, although must say, entry is FREE...:)
That's Sacre Coeur atop the Montmartre. The view of Paris, once you have climbed all those steps is glorious. As beautiful as seeing it from the top of Eiffel Tower and less expensive...And if you have actually made your way to the top, go around the side towards the Artists Corner in Montmartre.
I was so in awe of the work displayed there that I asked someone who did a lot of Degas-esque work to take me as an intern and pay me with a painting of his..I promised to clean his brushes and prime his canvasses - he laughed like a Frenchman and said '
I don't understand you' in English!!!
On the climb downhill, don't miss some of the most amazing grafitti art along Montmartre...This is when I met the Tramp...
At the base of Montmartre is Moulin Rouge - the windmill made so famous by Ewan McGregor and Nicole Kidman starrer film of the same name..
If you have any interest in art whatsoever, even if you skip Louvre ( by the way, when the French say it, the 'r' is silent) DON'T MISS Musee D'Orsay...I spent about 5 hours with two audio guides ( coz the battery of the first one died on me!!) alone in there rediscovering Monet and Seurat and Courbet and Degas
Also remember, when you are crossing over across the Seine, don't miss this sight...These are locks which is supposed to 'LOCK IN YOUR LOVE'..You write your names and seal the lock and throw the keys into the Seine..Now no one in the City of Lovers cared to answer my question as to whether there was a professional industry of divers around to retrieve keys if anyone wanted to 'Unlock' the Love.
Oh...and I think by now, I have shown you all the best parts of Amsterdam that we explored. Couldn't make it to the Van Gogh or Rembrandt museum though Musee D'Orsay soothed a lot of my disappointment..However, we girls didn't miss the Sex Museum. What's the point of visiting Amsterdam if you didn't pay a visit to one of their biggest tourist draws?
Also, don't miss a Canal Cruise...This I think is the best way to discover Amsterdam. While we were in Amsterdam, it poured and how..this is a view of the St.Nicholas church from the glass-ceiling of our boat by dusk.
That's me...signing off...Well, not exactly me..but the image I'd like to leave you with..:)