Walking Through Paris

EUROPE, SERIES, WALKING/HIKING — By on July 2, 2011 at 01:55

By guest blogger Estrella Azul. Photos © Estrella Azul, with Ian Fraser where specified.

WALKING THROUGH PARIS is amazing! The city is divided into 20 arrondissements (administrative districts or, less formally, neighborhoods), each having its own attractions and special charm.

I took full advantage of the walkability of the city and spent almost the whole time doing so during my short weekend in Paris.

Jardin des Tuileries, Paris

Jardin des Tuileries - Photo © Ian Fraser

After arrival on Friday afternoon my friend and I went for a long walk. We saw the Louvre from afar, strolled down Champs Élysées, marveled at the Arc de Triomphe, walked over to the Eiffel Tower, passed the Invalides and the D’Orsay Museum, to name just a few.

Obelisque de Louxor, Paris

View of Obélisque de Louxor from the West fountain in Jardin des Tuileries


Noticing the little things . . . some of the pedestrian signs cracked me up. Never in my life have I seen a man on a pedestrian sign wait with his hands on his hips.

The city is so stylish that their McDonald’s “M” on Champs-Élysées is white instead of yellow. Apparently the yellow sign was considered tacky, so even McDonald’s plays dress up in Paris.

While you may think my mind is in the gutter, I’ll just go ahead and say it: some of the statues seem pretty inappropriate for public display from specific angles.

And you know how you sometimes wish you could just pull over at the corner? Well, people here actually do it, so you need to watch out for cars when crossing the road—you might not see oncoming traffic on account of the awkwardly parked cars on street corners.

The Louvre Museum, Paris

Musée du Louvre - Photo © Ian Fraser

After dinner we decided to walk back to the Louvre and take some pictures.

That turned into a walk to the Notre Dame, as well, for more night shots.

Notre Dame, Paris

Notre Dame - Photo © Ian Fraser

On Saturday we visited the Eiffel Tower in the morning. The view is breathtaking!

From the top of the Eiffel Tower, or even while simply criss-crossing the Seine River, there’s so much to see—the architecture all around is astounding!

View from the Eiffel Tower

The view from Tour Eiffel that took my breath away

Noticing the architectural details of the buildings, it’s safe to say that most streets downtown harbor a range of buildings dating from various centuries: the modern buildings have gradually developed out of the earlier styles. Palaces and mansions have been transformed into shops, hotels and apartments.

Despite the extensive parks, gardens and wide avenues, the city also provides a labyrinth of narrow streets, some of which are so small they appear on no map.

I suspect what seemed to be a street when I started walking down it was actually just a space between two massive buildings—probably why I could barely squeeze myself out at the other end!

Liberty Flame, Paris

Basilique Ste-Clotilde, Flamme de la Liberté, Le Mur pour la Paix,
Hotel de Ville, École Militaire

I really wanted to see the Flame of Liberty—an exact, gold-plated duplicate of the flame carried in the hand of the Statue of Liberty in New York City—so on Saturday afternoon we walked over to see that.

It would’ve been a good idea to check where it was sooner, so we could swing by when we were walking back to the hotel earlier from the Eiffel Tower. But this way we got some lovely sunset shots and then more night shots of this part of the city on our long walk back from dinner.

Arc de Triomphe, Paris

Basilique Mazarin, Louis XIV, Hotel les Invalides,
Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel, Assemblée Nationale

Sunday was mostly spent in the colossal Louvre. Ironically enough, as opposed to walking about in the city, inside the museum we got lost a few times.

Later, we walked over to Notre Dame to listen to an organ recital while visiting the church. Afterward, we strolled around some more before heading back to the hotel.

Carousel in Place de Hotel de Ville, Paris

Charming carousel in Place de Hotel de Ville

For me, experiencing the city by foot was more fun than I could have hoped for. How could it not be, when charming carousels throughout Paris’ streets and squares give the city an extra touch of magic?

——

Estrella Azul

Estrella in the Greek Amphitheatre ruins,
Taormina, Sicily


Estrella Azul is a young emerging writer, passionate about reading, floral art and photography, with an artistic personality and a soulful outlook on life. She is a Hungarian girl living and writing from Cluj-Napoca, Romania, the capital of historical region Transylvania. Estrella is our European correspondent, she currently serves as the photo editor here at Milliver’s Travels and she dreams of embarking on a round-the-world trip. To read more of her creative writing, visit Life’s a stage – WebBlog©.


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    36 Comments

  • Julia
    Twitter: wordsxo
    says:

    I love Paris! My teen daughter and I went a few years ago, and walked a lot of the same paths you did (we also took the Metro a lot which we loved too). We were there for a week, and we took a spreadsheet with us to make sure we went to every place we wanted to see…we lost count of all the museums we went to! It was a fantastic trip, as I see yours was. Love your photos, and thanks for some wonderful memories as well!

    • Estrella Azul
      Twitter: EstrellaAzul
      says:

      So great to read my article brought back wonderful memories of when you visited Paris!
      It’s good you had a week there. My total of two and a half days felt like way too short a trip, and I haven’t even reached 40% of my list of things to visit, but it was amazing nonetheless.
      Walking is something I enjoy (mostly because I find that flying is the only traveling means I don’t get motion sickness from) so I only took the metro twice. I didn’t care for it much.
      Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment, it’s so nice to interact with someone else who visited Paris and loved it :)

  • Ann
    Twitter: AnnHolly
    says:

    Hello Estrella! Another great post! You really brought Paris to life. How wonderful to walk the city. I suspect you got a better taste in two days than a lot of folks.

    The signs were cute! I’m a McDonalds fan – and when hubby and I recently traveled, we took pics of every one we went to…they are the same, but all different! I love the idea of the “waiting pose”! I suspect it’s more accurate than most!

    • Estrella Azul
      Twitter: EstrellaAzul
      says:

      Thank you, Ann!
      That’s right, walking contributes to a better taste of the true essence of a city. Plus the hotel location was outstanding so that helped in not having a need for public transit.

      I smiled at your collecting McDonald’s signs, I like how taking photos of something that’s the same but still all different makes us see that difference.
      And yes, hands on hips is a perfect way to describe (waiting at stop signs an account of) Paris traffic ;)

  • Roona says:

    Hi Estrella…lovely post and awesome pictures…We went to Paris on our honeymoon in autumn and spent the entire week walking around most of the time…used the metros occasionally…and it was one of the loveliest weeks of my life! Your post and the great pics brought it all back so beautifully! Thank You!

    • Estrella Azul
      Twitter: EstrellaAzul
      says:

      It makes me so happy that the post and photos brought back such lovely memories of your honeymoon – I can imagine how wonderful it would be to spend the honeymoon there (I felt the same way though it was far from a honeymoon or anything resembling that) :)

  • A splendid tour of Paris! I want to climb into your suitcase because you always have such lovely holidays.

    • Estrella Azul
      Twitter: EstrellaAzul
      says:

      Thanks, Carrie! So glad you enjoyed it.
      I suspect the reason behind these lovely holidays was my making up for the fact that I haven’t had a holiday in 5 years before last summer ;)

  • We were in Paris for a notable anniversary last year. Loved to return there through the blog, Estrella. Thanks for posting.

    • Estrella Azul
      Twitter: EstrellaAzul
      says:

      I was honored to guest post, so thank You for reading!
      Glad to read you visited (and returned to through my post) Paris for an anniversary – it is called the city of Love after all :)

  • Thank you for the lovely tour of Paris. [BIG SMILE}

    PS: The idea of you almost being captured by two buildings just lying in wait for the unsuspecting walking tourist was hilarious. Glad you outsmarted them. I always say that carrying a big tub of butter in your purse at all times comes in handy more often than most people think it will….

    • Estrella Azul
      Twitter: EstrellaAzul
      says:

      Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment, you’re very sweet :)

      PS: now why did you have to go and tell everyone what I have in my purse? At least you didn’t tell them about the… Oh… Now you almost made me admit to it :P

  • Ah, brings back memories. Our tour guide told us the traffic circle around the Arc de Triomphe is the most dangerous traffic circle in the world. Glad you survived it! Beautiful pictures and a lovely tour. Too bad you only had a few days.
    ~jon

    • Estrella Azul
      Twitter: EstrellaAzul
      says:

      Thanks Jon, glad you liked the tour and photos :)
      The traffic circle around the Arc was avoided by approaching it through an underpass tunnel. However, the traffic near the Obelisque was terrible and the stop lights weren’t functional… it took quite a while to cross the road there…

      • One woman on our tour took her son to see the Arc on their own during some of our open time. She did not realize there was a tunnel. They crossed the circle at street level! Our tour guide was surprised they survived.
        ~jon

  • Really lovely photos. Looks like you had a fabulous time!

  • short poems says:

    Hello Estrella!
    A beautiful tour of Paris, amazing images!
    Thanks for sharing with us.
    All the best
    Marinela

    • Estrella Azul
      Twitter: EstrellaAzul
      says:

      It was my pleasure to share with everyone, it makes me so happy that you (all) liked the tour of Paris.
      Thank you for stopping by, Marinela!

  • Janel
    Twitter: JanelGr
    says:

    I especially love the nighttime pictures! What a magical weekend you had!!

  • j says:

    WOW! Gorgeous pictures. I love, love, love walking vacations.

  • Calin says:

    cheers for this romantic description of a few days in Paris! nice article with some great pics, but it would be nice if you added some price info (like the cost of a beer, or a meal, bus ticket etc.) just a thought for your future articles ;)
    keep up the good work :D

    • Estrella Azul
      Twitter: EstrellaAzul
      says:

      I’m working on a couple more articles about Paris, will see if I can add some price info (just for you) ;)
      Thank you for reading and leaving a comment, Calin!

  • Madeline Morgan says:

    We were there for a week, and we took a spreadsheet with us to make sure we went to every place we wanted to see…we lost count of all the museums we went to! Thank you for the lovely tour of Paris. She did not realize there was a tunnel.

    • Estrella Azul
      Twitter: EstrellaAzul
      says:

      I love that you lost count of all the museums you went to, I can’t wait to be able to go back and stay for at least ten days and get to visit everything I had on my list :)

  • Good overview of Paris! One of the great things about travelling is how it opens your mind to new interpretations of old things that you think you knew and new points of view!

  • Lindsay Cardenas says:

    A splendid tour of Paris! My teen daughter and I went a few years ago, and walked a lot of the same paths you did (we also took the Metro a lot which we loved too).

    • Estrella Azul
      Twitter: EstrellaAzul
      says:

      Thanks for the kind words, Lindsay!
      Glad to have brought back memories for you, traveling there with your teen daughter must have been wonderful, a trip you’ll always remember and cherish.

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