Editor’s note: PDN’s Ron Rocky Coloma traveled to Paris, France to spend some time in “the city of love.”
In my Filipino home in Guam, my mother often talks about the beauty of Paris and its aura of romance.
So when I had the opportunity to attend Paris Fashion Week from late September to early October, it was exciting to travel to Paris and finally see the Eiffel Tower in front of me instead of a painting of it in our living room. be.
I have been studying in Florence, Italy, so it was easy for me to travel to Paris. The advantages of living in Europe are short and cheap flights to other countries on the continent. The direct flight only took one hour and 50 minutes.
enter the louvre
After arriving in Paris in the morning and dropping off my luggage at my hotel, my first stop was the Louvre Museum. I recommend buying your ticket in advance online at ticketlouvre.frwhich costs 17 euros, to avoid the long queue at the main entrance.
Instead of entering through the crowded main entrance of the Louvre Pyramid, which is surrounded by three smaller pyramids, I entered through a hidden and secluded entrance in the middle of the Jardin du Carrousel called the Porte des Lions.
Since I hadn’t had breakfast yet, my first stop inside the Louvre was a café called Angelina Paris. The cafe is located in the Richelieu Wing of the Louvre Museum on the first floor.
It’s an elegant start to French cuisine, as you can eat the delicacies of the country with the view of Paris and the aesthetic pyramid entrance of the museum. I ordered four small croissants: Grand Cru chocolate, coffee, caramel and raspberry. It was delicately sweet and very light, which complemented the charming scenery of the cafe.
I also ordered the eggs benedict with smoked bacon and hollandaise sauce. Apart from the attractive presentation, it has the perfect boil inside. To commemorate my visit to Paris, I finished my meal with Angelina Paris’ signature pastry, Richelieu. The sweet delicacy consists of a crunchy almond biscuit, dark chocolate cream, dark chocolate biscuit, milk chocolate and praline mousse. I finished it off with a bottle of Moët & Chandon Brut Champagne.
Iconic works at the Louvre
After filling my stomach, I was ready to explore the largest museum in the world. The Louvre was historically erected in 1190 as a fortress, but was later rebuilt as a royal palace in the 16th century. Some of the iconic pieces housed in the Louvre include the Mona Lisa, The Aphrodite of Milos, and The Winged Victory of Samothrace.
There was a long queue to see Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, which is also surrounded by other works by the artist. The painting became famous when an Italian janitor stole it in 1911 and took it to Florence, Italy. He was later captured in 1913.
The Louvre is also home to one of the most famous examples of Greek sculpture in the world, the Aphrodite of Milos. It is a representation of Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love and beauty, and is also believed to be one of the works of Alexander of Antioch between 130 and 100 BC The statue was discovered by a farmer in 1820 on the Greek island of Melos.
The last statue that caught my eye inside the Louvre is the Winged Victory of Samothrace, which stands at the top of the monumental Daru Staircase. The Goddess of Victory seemed to be floating in the air, and the setting accentuates the beauty of combining modern architecture and ancient sculpture. The statue used to be offered to the gods for a shrine on Samothrace, a Greek island in the north Aegean Sea.
If you have little time, two hours in the Louvre Museum is enough to visit the main works.
After being mesmerized by various masterpieces inside the Louvre, I had lunch at Georges. The restaurant, which is located on the roof of the Center Pompidou, offers a gourmet dining experience as well as stunning views of Paris, the Eiffel Tower and other monuments. You can choose to eat outside or inside.
I suggest making a reservation a few weeks in advance because it often fills up quickly. I ordered steamed salmon with vierge sauce, old fashioned hot chocolate, and a chocolate lava cake. The steamed salmon was very sumptuous and buttery. Don’t get me started on the chocolate lava cake that melted in my mouth. It is the epitome of chocolate heaven due to its richness and moisture.
I would definitely go back during the evening hours next time with my loved one because it was so romantic, the perfect escape from reality.
ice cream tray
I always have room for another dessert so I took an Uber to Le Bac à Glaces to try their banana split which I loved. It consisted of scoops of vanilla and chocolate ice cream, strawberry sorbet, organic banana, homemade chocolate sauce and homemade whipped cream.
Located near Le Bon Marché, the shop has been famous for its diverse range of ice creams and sorbets since its inception in 1982. It also offers vegan options, such as raspberry and rose sorbet, and rare flavors such as chestnut marron glacé.
To compensate for all the calories I consumed, I walked from Le Bac à Glaces to the Eiffel Tower for 30 minutes. It was wonderful to see the Eiffel Tower from different angles as I got closer.
Regarding the entrance to the Eiffel Tower, I advise to book the tickets in advance because it can take between one and two hours of waiting if you get the tickets in person. I recommend buying the option to get to the top of the Eiffel Tower, which is 906 feet off the ground. If you want to earn your way up, it will take 1665 steps.
Once you are at the top of the Eiffel Tower, you can see wonderful views of tourist places such as the Trocadéro square and gardens and the Champ de Mars.
Located across the Seine and north of the Eiffel Tower, the Trocadéro square and gardens have extraordinary architecture featuring a unique fountain and grassy mounds surrounding both sides.
South of the Eiffel Tower, you can see the Champ de Mars, a grassy field about half a mile long. It’s the perfect spot for a picnic as you’ll have a beautiful view of the Eiffel Tower above you while you catch up with your friends and eat some Parisian delicacies.
Shop your way to the Arc de Triomphe
After taking in the views from the Eiffel Tower, walk down the Champs-Elysées, “the most beautiful avenue in the world.” The 1.17-mile shopper’s paradise is known for its diverse range of shops, from well-known French brands like Lacoste and Longchamp, to luxury brands like Louis Vuitton, whose flagship store is located in the area, and affordable brands like Zara. and Nike.
As you continue walking west, you will see the magnificent Arc de Triomphe at the end. The monument looks captivating, especially during the evening hours. It commemorates the people who fought and lost their lives in the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars.
The Seine Cruise
After returning to your hotel to drop off your shopping bags and change into a fancy outfit, end the evening with an evening dinner cruise with live jazz music on the River Seine.
I ordered a ticket in advance with Bateaux Mouches and ordered their prestige menu, which is over 100 euros per person.
It consists of a glass of castel mouche as an appetizer, beef carpaccio as a starter, sea bream fillet with fried peppers and vegetable coulis with sesame as a main course, and a chocolate hazelnut delight for dessert. Of course, the serving is not complete without my Bordeaux wine, Mouton Cadet.
The entire sea cruise lasted over two hours, and the views on the cruise were picturesque and dreamy. You can go up to the deck to see more of the views.
It was like being in a fairy tale as we approached the Eiffel Tower. After dark, the wrought-iron lattice tower glowed for five minutes at the start of every hour.
The other sight that caught my eye was the Statue of Liberty on the Île des Cygnes. The 35-foot replica is larger than the Statue of Liberty in New York.
After a two-hour sea cruise, I returned to the dock more in love with Paris than when I arrived. Perhaps Paris makes tourists fall in love with her, whether they’re in a relationship or not. Anyway, the sea cruise was a romantic way to end my day trip in Paris!