By Thierry Gaytán
Images Thierry Gaytán
Who has not dreamed of visiting the ‘city of love’, walking around the Champs-Elysées and getting to the top of the Eiffel Tower?
Here you find people from different origins and attire. The mix colors this beautiful cosmopolitan city.
Paris is a unique city. To speak of it I would need a lot of pages, but here I intend to leave a little of its spirit: the art of living.
FIRST: THE FOOD
Paris, besides from being one of the fashion capitals of the world, it is also a capital of gastronomy. Enjoying a ‘plate of resistance’ accompanied by wine, delicious cheese and a dessert can be done in a comfortable and unhurried atmosphere because, I have to tell you, for the French eating is a ritual: after the working hours, everything is paralyzed during that time of the afternoon. Eating means sitting at the table to enjoy freshly prepared food, which in France is called “le savoir faire” (knowing how to do things).
A tourist who does not want to spend in a restaurant can buy a traditional French sandwich prepared in a “baguette” that it is sold at every “boulangerie” (bakery) where it is almost always part of the “food formula,” a package that also includes a beverage (sparkling water or soda) and a dessert that can be a “religieux” (religious or a thousand leaves) or another type of delicious cake.
GOING AROUND THE CITY OF LIGHT
The plan depends on the days you are staying in the city. If there is time, the best is to walk using a map. In order to orient yourself and to never get lost, it is enough to locate the Eiffel Tower. By the way, getting to the top of the “Iron Lady” takes time due to the long waiting lines but it is worth enjoying the 360° view at least once in a lifetime. The famous 324-meter-high structure is located on a side of the Seine River in the Champ-de-Mars (Mars Field) park where it is very pleasant to walk among the green meadows. By the way, I once saw two Mexicans, Alexia and Gerardo, there with a copy of Border Heritage magazine in their hands and reached them out to take a photo of them.
The Champs Elysees Avenue is the largest in the world. It is a delight to walk around it: There are luxury boutiques and shops of all kinds. At the top of the avenue there is the grand Arc de Triomphe in a roundabout know as “etoile” (star) where twelve avenues end. From the terrance you can see the Obelisk, located at the center of the huge Place de la Concorde which is surrounded by elegant fountains that are decorated with gold sculptures.
In the heart of the city you can find the National Opera of Paris, an imposing and beautiful building with a capacity for 450 people and a luxuriously decorated interior in the Roman and Baroque style of the 17th century.
Visiting the Louvre Museum is entering the art labyrinth. Since it is one of the largest of the world, it demands a lot of time and every minute is worth it because we can find many of the famous works of humanity in its rooms, such as “The Mona Lisa” by Da Vinci.
PARIS AT NIGHT
There are many things to do: theater, musicals, operas, all kinds of concerts, and more. I recommend going to the two enormously traditional cabarets: the Lido and the Moulin Rouge. Of course, there are also plenty of bars and places to go dancing.
Another good option is to take a night stroll on the Seine aboard of one of the “bateaux-mouches” (ships-flies). During the tour you can see the facades of the old buildings of the capital, the monuments and the fountains, all with a spectacular lightning that makes up a fantastic and resplendent picture. Is that why they call it the “City of Light”?
WHEN IS A GOOD IDEA TO VISIT PARIS
Every season has its own charm, but I prefer the beginning of the summer or September and October when the raining season arrives. Winter in Paris is interesting if you go to the city and to the Alps to ski and be surrounded by pine trees full of snow, white mountains and beautiful landscapes. Day or night and not mattering the season, Paris is wonderful.