Being in Europe during summer time have it’s unique taxing mental toll when it comes to plan long holidays. First choice in itself requires fair amount of debate and homework: which country/location to visit in European Region. With so many beautiful and “once in a lifetime visit” countries clustered together along with richness of transportation, One only has to choose the location without worry about means. For me, escaping to Paris in long summer holidays from Basel was never tough choice as I already visited Vienna and Italy was lined up for next break, Paris would be the right choice for 4 days break. Second thing to plan travel is to have good day-to-day guide meticulously prepared before venturing blindly into particular city. As I experienced, Paris in itself is crammed together with so much to cover up that without proper notion what to see in few available precious days; one will come out with nothing but map full of visiting places icon unexplored and most of the time spent in underground metros rather than visiting the places themselves. And third most important thing is….. forget it, I will have different blog for this. This blog I planned as kind of a travel log and not travel guide. I planned to produce my travel as continuous travel assay but better I represent it as snippets in 3 parts with some bullet points surprises, take-outs, considerations, observations, conclusions, analysis and experience. Anyhow, like a sweet symphony you can not realize the grandeur of it from musical notations, only way is listen to it in right manner to convert that mere time-space existence to something special and unique, So only notable way to admire places is to visit them.
You will not realize the sense of amazement by just seeing beautiful French landscape passing by window until you see the sign flashing beneath the upcoming station showing the speed reaching to 300 km/h and sometimes surpassing that also. Welcome to one of the fastest train on earth: TGV. The train just glides on the rails without much lurch like a magical flying carpet flowing to the yet another magical Disney location called Paris.
If you happen to arrive Paris by train, coming to bustling Gare de Lyon, than anticipation of seeing the iconic Gustave’s creation will have to wait for bit longer as color coded metros journey through city most of the time remaining underground. At the right time, it emerges to give the distant look to it’s famous tower; creating dramatic effect like having grand introductory entrance of lead character in the movie. I don’t know if this kind of metro design was intentional or not but it just hit the right cords instantly.
It’s been well-known fact that Statue of Liberty was gift to United States of America from people of France and there are multiple replicas scattered in France to honor the lady. One near Grenelle Bridge on the Île aux Cygnes is facing the famous river Seine and whose existence was completely out of my mind (even after multiple viewings of National Treasure: Book of Secrets) till I suddenly encountered the statue while passing the bridge. Finding the unexpected treasure underneath mountain of treasure trove !!! that’s what the feeling was…….
Walking through park from Statue of Liberty towards beaconing Eiffel tower along the river Seine conjures up dramatic feeling that tower is growing with each step closing in, till you reach to wide open base of the tower where the realization of grandeur has settled all excitements to pure bliss and calmness even with all the chatter and clatter of mass of other travelers.The sheer height of the metal structure with crisscross metal work gives the feeling of giant spider web. Gustav has created tower as attraction to world fair, kind of icon for the fair. There was one other purpose also of the tower in mind of Architect: as highest flag mast for French flag which was true at the time of inauguration of Eiffel Tower. Anyhow it has proved its mettle, attracting millions of people worldwide even to this date.
Eiffel Tower holds a magnificent restaurant “20,000 leagues above the ground” with homage to one of the most magnificent science-fiction writer world know as Jules Verne.
Climbing stairs till 2nd floor would give the feeling of finding way through big metal monster with info-graphic at each stair-climb of Tower history and some other impressive statistical numbers. Tiresome climb will reward you with breathtaking panoramic view from open gallery from second floor (and more breathtaking panoramic view from top of the tower once you climb up via elevator).
At night, massive sweeping searchlights over Paris from Eiffel Tower along with illuminating body via thousands of bulbs gave the impression of “All see eye” of LOTR world with only difference is this metal eye would attract and not scaring away the populace.