Destinations Magazine

Five Days in Paris and Needing Five More

By Livingthedreamrtw @livingdreamrtw
Five Days in Paris and Needing Five MoreThe final stop in my month long tour of Europe was the City of Lights - Paris, France.  Knowing that there are so many things to do in Paris, I spent my five days in the city getting my moneys worth with the popular Museum and Metro passes, allowing nearly universal access to the entire city.
It was set to be a packed few days, but I was determined to make the most out of the last few moments of a great trip and had planned my itinerary out nicely to fit it all in.  With five days I was sure that I would have had enough time to see it all, but by the end I knew I was horribly mistaken.
The Eiffel Tower! The Louvre!  The Must Sees!
Five Days in Paris and Needing Five More
It should go without saying that the first attractions on my list were the must sees of the city:  The Eiffel Tower, The Louvre, and the Arc de Triomphe.  Impressive, yes, but there was so much more that the museum and metro passes offered, much like a Paris hop on and hop off tour package, and I had to rush to see it all. 
As our tour group had also provided us Moulin Rouge tickets through an excursion, the main attractions were covered easily.  Two long visits to the Louvre, a good walk down the Champs-Elysees, and a trip up the Eiffel Tower are only the starting point in seeing Paris, and I had to go deeper.
The Palace of Versailles
Five Days in Paris and Needing Five More
One of the great things about the Paris Metro Pass was that it was built based on how many zones you wanted to travel in.  Naturally I purchased the comprehensive pass that included the train line that goes to the nearby Palace of Versailles and made a half-day trip out of it.
Getting past the crowds at Versailles is the most difficult part of the visit, as even on a poor weather day the Palace grounds are completely full of visitors.  Large, ornate, and incredibly beautiful, I can understand the allure Versailles has on all of the visitors.  But unfortunately after a month of traveling around Europe and visiting palaces and museums of similar style, things began to blur.   My biggest disappointment was mostly due to the weather, as the beautiful Gardens of Versailles were hiding their luster behind a brief rain storm, thus putting the Palace back on my list to visit in my next stop in the city.
Gargoyles of Notre Dame
Five Days in Paris and Needing Five More
Although I consider Notre Dame to be lumped in with the standard must-sees of Paris, taking the side trip up to the top of the cathedral takes an added fee and a personal drive to want to see the Gargoyles that reside at the top.   To some, these Gargoyles are just another set of statues on an endless array of ornate carvings found throughout Europe.  To others, the Gargoyles represent an integral part of the history of Notre Dame.  One look at their view of the city and you begin to understand the allure, and I found myself wishing I could watch the city evolve in the upcoming centuries as they have done in the past and will continue to do so.
So Much Left Unseen
Even with all the attractions that were crammed into one small period of time, I had to skip a near equal amount.  By the 5th day I was nearing the one month mark of travel and the high-speed pace of group travel had started to take its toll.  Knowing the trip was coming to an end, I began slowing down and started to choose to skip certain attractions. 
Sainte-Chapelle sounded like a fantastic church; however, with the dozens I saw in the weeks before that I knew I couldn't give it the justice it deserved.  Likewise, a few friends and I visited the Musee d'Orsay just before closing, not to see any specific pieces, but to take a quick glimpse at a museum that had to be pushed back to another trip.
To send the city off with a proper farewell, my final night I did absolutely no sightseeing and sat on the steps of the Sacre Coeur looking out over a beautiful city.  Since I had missed so much there was no point in forcing the last few moments, as I knew that one day I will have to go back.
Five Days in Paris and Needing Five More

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