Paris: The Beauty and The Beast

Travelers across the globe have regarded Paris as the “city of Love and Light”. My entire Paris perception was all about the Eiffel Tower, chic Parisian women and French wine and baguettes. I guess, being a non-European fan before, Paris never really struck me except for the steel beauty that is the Eiffel Tower.

My trip to Paris began when I have more than twenty-two days of leave and all of my travel plans were changed due to visa considerations from my choice of destination. At that time, I haven’t really made up my mind on where to go and I felt extremely bad to miss Thanksgiving with my family in the United States. A few of my friends suggested for me to check Paris and Amsterdam. So, even if I am not keen on visiting places in Europe, I gave Paris and Amsterdam a try.

Paris for me is a mix of highly occupied people, devoid of warmth and patience to deal with strangers. Everybody seemed so unavailable to ask touristy questions. Everyone speaks in French and dislikes to be bothered, even the Chinese woman serving in a local Asian eatery. They have this vibe of simply minding their own business and get over with their daily activities until they can go back to the safety and comfort of their homes.  I stayed in a hostel near Gare Du Nord as it is nearby the main train station and I felt a great amount of unease. I rationalized that it is because I am new to Paris, and I am cautious of the sordid tales of travelers pickpocketed, duped and victimized by muggers. Mid-November is also starting to get chilly and the days are short with occasional rain.

The weather did not dampen my enthusiasm to discover the vicinity of my surroundings though. I felt elated and excited to see the beauty that poets since the old times have written about.

I took a Hop on – Hop off bus and I had the chance to go around the main attraction sites in Paris.

The historic associations of Paris, including the immense range of influences in the area of beauty, history, culture, food, and architecture is overwhelmingly extreme to take in during my three days trip.

The architectural designs of the Louvre Museum, the Arc d Triomphe, The Notre Dame Cathedral, Sacre Cour, and the Eiffel Tower are truly sights to behold. They also hold a significant amount of history in them and it felt beautiful to be a part of history. The River Seine, a UNESCO World Heritage Site is also a beauty, albeit dull and gray at the time that I went there.

Paris isn’t short of tourists of varying nationalities. It’s full of people almost until 2 in the morning that I have been out. Although Paris is not as welcoming as I thought it was, I was warmly welcomed by a fellow backpacker from Thailand and Vietnam. I also met a fine lawyer-to-be who toured me to the other amazing and romantic parts of the City of Lights.

Paris is both the Beauty and the Beast. She is the embodiment of grace, class, and resilience. She is represented by the magnificent edifices, the stunning people and powerful influence of history that molded the country as a recognized super power. She is at the same time the Beast, tough, unfriendly and petrifying.

Will I ever come back? Yes. After all, there are still parts of this enchanting beauty that is still undiscovered.

 

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