Places

Medieval Houses in Paris

If you head into the lively Le Marais area of Paris, near Saint-Paul, around the corner from the main street, you’ll find Rue François-Miron. It’s a quiet little street but there is something special there – some of the oldest medieval style houses of Paris! The medieval houses stand out among the Parisian style architecture that one is used to seeing all over Paris.

As per the little history signboard near the houses, medieval houses are very rare in Paris. These houses are apparently as old as the 14th century. It is amazing to see such rare architecture in Paris. Le Marais is already such a gorgeous part of Paris and the houses on Rue François-Miron make it even more special.

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Places

La DĂ©fense

A few weeks ago, I decided to visit La Défense. Last year, I saw the modern buildings in the distance from the top of the Arc de Triomphe. It intrigued me and I decided to go check it out.

La DĂ©fense is the major business district of Île-de-France and the complete opposite of Paris in terms of architecture. Paris has old charming buildings whereas La DĂ©fense has modern architecture. La DĂ©fense is located just outside of Paris on the West in Puteaux and is served by Metro Line 1.

It is mostly super modern & ultra chic although there were some really old run down buildings in the area too. When you walk around on a weekday you see everyone in formal business attire talking on phones, having meetings in cafes etc. but on the weekend the office buildings are deserted. There is a great shopping centre there called Les Quatre Temps too with all the major shops.

The coolest thing about La DĂ©fense is the Grande Arche which is not just an arch but a building with actual offices in it. When you walk up the steps to the top, you can see the Arc de Triomphe & Paris in the distance and it’s a wonderful view.

Personally, La Défense reminded me a lot of Docklands in Melbourne because it is modern, cold and a little soulless. But I have a love for modern architecture and I had a great time photographing it.

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Places

Pont du Gard

Pont du Gard is a masterpiece of ancient architecture. It is a Roman aqueduct build in the middle of the 1st century AD. Built as a three-level aqueduct standing 50 m high, it allowed water to flow across the Gardon river. The architect of this masterpiece is unknown but it is listed as a UNESCO world heritage site.

It is hard to believe that a structure this old is in such great condition. The day I visited, it was a 37 degrees and boiling so there were many people enjoying a family picnic or a swim in the river. I managed to find a very quiet path near the aqueduct marked as “aqueduc photo” which was about 200 metre walk up to a place which, as the sign suggested, was a nice spot for photography. Then I followed another sign which took me another 200 metres up to a “panoramique” view, almost level with the top part of the aqueduct. I was all alone up there and decided to sit there in this little cave and admire Pont du Gard from above.

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Places

Arc de Triomphe

Last week, my friend Maurita and her boyfriend Bruno visited Paris. It was their first time in Paris and we decided to start the day by making our way to the Arc de Triomphe.

We made our way via the underpass, bought tickets & went to the top of the building. Although, it was my second time up here, it was still as stunning as I remembered. The monument stands in the centre of Place Charles de Gaulle. From the top, you can see 12 avenues radiating from the centre, one of which is the famous shopping precinct of Avenue des Champs-ÉlysĂ©es.The views of the Eiffel Tower, La Defense & SacrĂ© Coeur in the distance from here are amazing & I think it’s one of my favourite monuments in Paris.

IMG_4022 IMG_4027 IMG_4031 IMG_4032On the way back down, I stopped and read all about the history of the building & it’s significance.

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It is a hommage to all those who fought for France in different wars. On the way down, there is a room with photographs of all the different uniforms worn by the French & it’s allies in the war. We found Australian & New Zealand uniforms too!

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We then went down to look at all the markings and inscriptions on the buildings.The supporting columns, ceilings, face – all have inscriptions & it is such detailed work. The outside is also decorated with statues of mythological figures.

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After this, I went for a stroll down Avenue des Champs-ÉlysĂ©es had a fresh juice and bought a few necessary items like thongs from the Quiksilver store.

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Places

La Tour Eiffel from Trocadéro

La Tour Eiffel or Eiffel Tower is one of the most recognisable landmarks in the world. It has been reproduced in many forms – mini replicas, postcards, stamps, greeting cards, wallpapers, key-rings – you name it, it’s been done!

This post is a pure dedication (borderline obsessive) to this beautiful structure – an icon of France!

The first time, I ever walked towards it, I thought to myself, “Hmm, it’s not that big!”. But as you start to get really close to The Iron Lady you realise just how huge it actually is. Standing under it, you feel so small. It is an amazing structure especially for it’s time.

Last year, I went to the top of the tower so I didn’t want to do that again until my friends come to visit. Instead, I went to TrocadĂ©ro which is a great place to view the Eiffel Tower. I wanted to take photos of it while it was light up & sparkling but unfortunately my amateur camera skills & lack of tripod meant the photos weren’t the best. However, I will share the best of what I captured.

NOTE: None of my photos are edited in any way. I prefer to capture things as they are instead of enhancing them.

The first photos were taken around 9.30 pm. As you can see it was still nice and bright outside. I tried to get a good spot but kept getting pushed by others trying to do the same. Then the lights turned out as it hit 10 pm.

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Then it got dark and you could really see the Eiffel Tower dominate the city lights.

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And finally when it sparkles! It’s a magical moment followed by ooh, aaaahs & lots of ooh la lalas (and clapping) It only sparkles once every hour for 5 minutes (apparently, but it was more like 3 minutes)

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After this, I got a Nutella crepe & caught the metro back to the hostel.

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