My second blog of the series is all about France! I love France and I go every year with my family.
There is so much to do in Paris, and after being twice I feel like I know a lot about the city. Of course there is the Eiffel Tower which is so large and grand! But there is also so much more about the city which is just waiting to be explored! However, my journey starts at the famous Eiffel Tower
THE EIFFEL TOWER:
Named after Gustave Eiffel who designed and built this amazing tower, the Eiffel Tower is quite incredible. Despite the 1,665 number of steps to climb to get to the different floors, it is all completely worth it. When you get to the final floor, you can take a lift to the Summit. The Summit is quite small and cramped, but gives out even better views of Paris and the photogenic Champ De Mars Park. I loved this incredible attraction, although my legs hurt afterwards! If you do not want to take the stairs, you can always take the lifts, as there are two, however the lift is quite slow which if you are scared of heights can make you more paranoid and sick. The beautiful Eiffel Tower is also lit up at night and looks unbelievable. The Eiffel Tower is 324m in height (to the top) and looks extremely large when you stand underneath it! However, once you have began walking up it only really takes 10-15 minutes to each platform and so it does not really feel that high up, unless you look down!
This amazing Tower was constructed from 1887-1889 by Gustave Eiffel's company as the opening to the 1889 World's fair. Today, the Eiffel Tower still attracts more visitors than any other paid tourist attraction in the World! The Tower was originally intended on being a temporary monument and so was nearly torn down in 1909. However, city officials decided to keep it after realising its value as a radio telegraph station! Additionally, the Tower was used during World War 1 for intercepted radio communications. In World War II it narrowly missed being demolished by Hitler, however he never carried out destroying the Tower.
Over the years, the Eiffel Tower has also inspired more than 30 replicas and similar structures in cities across the World. Today, the Eiffel Tower is very famously known and is one of the most recognised structures in the World! Over 7 million people visit each year to enjoy panoramic views of the incredible and majestic city of light.
I would really recommend bringing some extra change when visiting the Eiffel Tower as there are cafes and restaurants as well as gift shops on the floors of the tower! As well, you may want to pay to look through the telescopes available for use. I enjoyed sitting in the cafes as they were nice and clean, the food and drinks were good. There are also gift shops, which sell very nice souvenirs' such as the Eiffel Tower book mark, which is where when you move the bookmark you see the development of the Tower and the year changes! These are generally quite cheap, however some souvenirs' are quite expensive!
FACT: The wrought iron of the Tower weighs 7,300 tonnes!
Home to some very impressive and magnificent art work, the Louvre museum looks like a triangular glass pyramid before you step inside and go down the escalator. The louvre is one of many galleries and museums of art in this City and there are also other renowned art museums which are equally impressive. I find the Louvre could be more popular due to its position in the City and its famous Mona Lisa painting.
(The picture at the right, was taken during my first visit to Paris, and when I tried to stand on one of the stands to touch the top of the pyramid!)
The Louvre Palace was originally a royal Palace and its construction started back in 1202! The louvre museum is the largest art museum in the World and is home to 38,000 objects prehistory to the 21st century. In 2016 the Louvre was visited by 7.3 million people! I would recommend visiting the Louvre, it is extremely busy, but in a beautiful location and in the heart of Paris! As well, it is home to some renowned art work. I especially enjoyed getting a picture of myself outside the louvre, standing on a small stand/pillar to try and make it look like I was taller than the louvre (and that I was touching the top of its pyramid structure!)
FACT: It would take more than ten years to go through everything in the Louvre, if you were looking at every single exhibit/ object for 30 seconds without a break.
ARC DE TRIOMPHE:
This special monument is in the middle of a famous junction and roundabout, on the Champs-Elysees, making it extremely hard to get to if one did not know there was an underground tunnel! When you get to this amazing monument, you can see that is honours those who died in the various wars and battles France was involved in. It also includes the tombs of the unknown Soldier. This monument is not only special, but it is incredible and you can even go up to the top! You should definitely go!
Built between 1806 and 1836, the Arc represents power and honour for those who fought for France during the Napoleonic wars, and it is engraved with the names of those who fought. There are inscriptions on the ground to remember the vault beneath the tomb of the unknown soldier of World War I where the Memorial flame burns. This makes the site patriotic and important.
I would recommend visiting the Arc de Triomphe due to its significant position in Paris and also its importance as well. It is really interesting to read about the names of those who fought in the arc and also there is a museum and gift shop which share interesting gifts and facts.
This picture to the right is a picture I took at the top of the Eiffel Tower - if you look closely you can see the Arc de Triomphe - (It is impossible to see if you are not reading from a big screen!)
I didn't actually go up the top of the Arc de Triomphe, but I think you definitely should, it gives out such a great view! As well I really enjoyed visiting the museum where I learnt interesting facts about the monument.
Moreover, if you are scared of heights, then this is the perfect monument to subside your fears before going up the Eiffel Tower! The Arc de Triomphe is only 50m high and so has no more than 300 steps to climb! It is worth it, with a scenic view of all the avenues and parks.
FACT: Two unsuccessful assassinations took place at the Arc de Triomphe.
A famous and beautiful Cathedral in the heart of the City. The Notre- Dame is beautiful inside and has incredible stain glass windows. Also, it is one of the finest examples of French Gothic Architecture. As well, you can climb the 387 steps to get to the top and get a glance at the City beneath the railings and also the famous gargoyles'. Moreover, you can see the famous large bells at the top which are very interesting to visit. However, although sensational, this Church is a very popular attraction and to arrive earlier than the opening time is wise as I am sure my family and I queued for some hours!
The Cathedral is very historic (built in the 13th century) and mind-blowing inside, I would recommend you visit, it is not too high (69 m) and has an impressive view of the city, including the famous Eiffel Tower!
I really enjoyed going up the Notre-Dame, it is completely safe,
however quite tightly packed. There are tour guides and this explains more about the Historic Cathedral, and as well there are the large bells at the top of the Cathedral which are amazing! They are so big and impressive to see, especially if you have read or watched the story of 'The Hunchback of Notre-Dame' which is a gothic novel inspired by the immense Cathedral! The bells are extremely interesting to see and I would really recommend you do not miss out on the opportunity of visiting them while at the Notre-Dame!
FACT: Around 30,000 people visit the Cathedral per day!
Thank you for reading this! If you are going to Paris, I hope this helps you with your decisions of what to do as there are so many interesting museums and monuments you can visit! Some of which I have not gone into too much detail of, or written about at all! So, I would also recommend Musée d'Orsay and the Sacré-Cœur which are also extremely popular and interesting to visit! As well, visiting the Champs Elysees and seeing the shops is really nice, as well as going to some of the beautiful parks!
I really think there is a lot to do in Paris and so I would definitely encourage you to research into any attractions or significant monuments I have not gone into too much detail of! If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me through my Instagram. I also really enjoyed playing ball with my family down by 'Paris plage' which is where you can hire them from the beach hut for an hour! As well this is a really good place to come with little children as there is so much to do and many fun activities! Along the River Seine, you can also go on a boat tour or ride and explore the Heart of the City from the River in large tour groups!
Check out my Instagram - @bethlucyblogs for more and to see my next travel blog which will be on Iceland!