It was my last day in Belgium. Since I was having such a great time exploring other cities by train, I decided to hop on yet another train and see Paris for the day! The weather could not have been better – sunny and warm with clear blue skies. I could not wait! Then it happened, my train was delayed due to power outage problems. Boo! After a couplpe hours, we were up and running again. Thalys eventually mailed me a discount voucher for the inconvenience. Paris, here I come!
Once I arrived in Paris, I had an interesting time getting through the turnstyle. The ticket machines were not accepting my credit cards and I didn’t have change. With a little help, I was finally able to get through the gate and hop on a train towards the Cité metro station near the Palace of Justice.
I was instantly mesmerized by the beautiful buildings and architecture surrounding the area. I walked along the Seine River for a bit before heading to Notre Dame Cathedral.
I walked up towards the front of the cathedral. It was beautiful. The Notre-Dame de Paris, also known as Notre-Dame Cathedral or simply Notre-Dame, is a medieval Catholic cathedral on the eastern half of the natural island in the Seine River.
The cathedral is considered to be one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture, and it’s among the largest and most well-known church buildings in the world.
I had to see the inside and made my way towards a small line at the door.
The colorful stained glass was extremely impressive.
During the radical phase of the French Revolution in the 1970’s, the cathedral suffered desecration and a great amount of its religious imagery was damaged. Most of the statues were destroyed, but the marble statue of bishop Simon Matifas de Buci is the one remaining statue that survived the mobs. It is located behind the alter with a lion asleep at his feet.
After appreciating the stunning details of the cathedral, I walked along the Seine River for a bit. The 483-mile long river is an important commercial waterway within the Paris Basin.
I was surprised to find people relaxing at a beach along the river. The Paris-Plages is a plan run by the office of the mayor of Paris that creates temporary artificial beaches along the river during the summer. Nice!
There was no way I was leaving without seeing the iconic Eiffel Tower. I lost two hours from the train delay and it’s located all the way on the other side of the city, but first I had to see the Tuileries Garden and Arc de Triomphe before making my way to the other side of the city.
After a whole lot of walking, I was able to get up close and personal with the iron lattice tower. It’s named after the engineer Gustave Eiffel, whose company designed and built the tower which was constructed as the entrance to the 1889 World’s Fair.
The Eiffel Tower is considered the most-visited paid monument in the world. I’m not surprised. There are three levels for visitors, with restaurants on the first and second levels. The top level serves as the highest observation deck accessible to the public in the European Union.
Such a beautiful sight on a beautiful day. People were relaxing on a nearby field with the tower serving as a gorgeous backdrop. I had to join and took some time to soak it all in.
Notre Dame Cathedral