The Parisian Experience

Lauren Graziano

It was an ungodly early hour as we trudged through the soft rain to the train station. I couldn’t recall who decided it was a good idea to book a 7:00am flight (probably me) but what an awful decision. No one ought to be awake at such an hour. Yet, it seemed the whole world was awake and milling about the Fiumicino Airport. Apparently, there were others who enjoy severe lack of sleep and atrociously early morning flights. So we arrived in Paris, dreadfully tired but thrilled to be in the enchanting city we had seen in countless movies and read about in books.

Paris is magical. The French are wonderful; the bread and cheese is divine; and the Eiffel Tower is not a single bit exaggerated but astounding and absolutely mesmerizing when it is brightly lit at night. What a fantastic site it is. You could look at it, aglow and shining brilliantly during the night, for hours and still not tire of the glorious site—I certainly didn’t. Pictures do not do the Eiffel Tower justice; you simply must see it in person to truly comprehend its magnificence. And as splendid as this monument is, Paris’ charm does not end with its renowned Eiffel Tower, in fact, it is only the beginning of the wonderous adventures you can have in the streets of this city.

The Louvre, home to the infamous La Joconde and countless other artistic masterpieces, is another must see in Paris. It’s a maze, hundreds of hallways teeming with works of art that are so grand and some, so fantastically enormous, stretching at least triple your arm span, and many even surpassing those dimensions, that it’s impossible to be bored for even one second. You can be completely in awe of one painting, and determine that it must be the most elaborate piece in the entire museum but then you turn and on the opposite wall is one just as equally exquisite and elaborate. It’s never ending and you’re speechless with wonderment of how many minutes, hours, and days it must’ve taken the artist to complete such a marvelous work of art. Not to mention the ceilings of the Louvre—astonishing. If you thought the artwork on display was grand, you would be likewise just as stunned as I was by the intricate and spectacular ceilings. It entertained my curiosity, deliberating how tired the artists’ arms must’ve gotten, having to paint something so high and hold their arms at such an angle for so long. While you can spend hours, gaping at the lovely treasures in the Louvre, you mustn’t while away all your time there, for the rest of Paris still waits to be seen.

Let’s not forget Notre Dame, the Arc de Triomphe, Musee D’Orsay, the Luxembourg Gardens, and, of course, Sacre-Coeur. The list of museums, churches, and monuments in Paris goes on and on but it’s a wonderful thing because it means the adventure never ends. But if the mere thought of that exhausts you, and I can assure you, running around Paris from one thing to the next is tiring, leave your worries of that behind; in Paris, there is always time to pause the excitement, take a moment to catch your breath, and enjoy a famous, French crepe inside one of the darling cafes that you’ll find on nearly every street. Paris is certainly a destination that ought to be visited by any and every person who loves to travel and I hope those who do find themselves in this charismatic city enjoy their stay as much as I did. Most importantly, I hope they book themselves a very late afternoon or an evening flight so they can sleep for a reasonable number of hours and wake up to the sun shining rather than the moon.