This was our last day in Paris and I wanted to make the most of it. We started early and visited the Cathedral of Notre Dame. We arrived at around 8 and it was completely empty(read: peaceful!). It was huge, calm, quiet and had a very different energy. We prayed for a while , and then walked around, clicking a few pictures.The stained glass windows are extremely beautiful and some are three to five hundred years old. The three main stained glass windows also called the rose windows have themes ranging from human life to the old testament . This world heritage site church is dedicated to Virgin Mary.Travel Tip: Try visiting this church early in the am, so you can avoid the long queues and have a moment or two to reflect inside the church.
The Beautiful Rose Window at The Notre Dame
The Flying Buttresses
Our next destination, The Palace of Versailles lies on the outskirts of Paris. It was about a 30-45 min train ride on the metro (RER C) .The palace is closed on mondays so we could only visit the gardens. You would imagine that after all the planning we did on this trip, this is something we would have known. 😦
There’s something about the cars parked in front of the palace – the blending of the old and the new world.The 17th century palace and the 20th century cars.
The Entrance to the Palace of Versailles
The Palace as seen from the Grande Canal.
The Apollo Fountain with the Grande canal in the backdrop.
Nevertheless, the gardens can be described in on word: Mindblowing. Perfectly manicured lawns along with an abundance of sculptures and fountains (still working and using the hydraulics from ancient times) create a a beautiful landscape.These 2000 acred gardens include The Grand Canal , a water body, also called Little Venice. You can rent golf carts or bikes and tour the gardens. We rented a golf cart and visited the Petit Trianon, The Grande Trianon and Marie Antoinette’s Hamlet. After we toured the gardens, we returned to Central Paris and had lunch at a restautant called Il Gigolo.
The First Glimpse of this majestic beauty as you climb up the hill
Sweeping Views of Paris
Later that day, we caught another train to Montre Martre to the visit the very very beautiful Sacré- Couer Basilica. It is a Roman Catholic Church dedicated to the Sacred heart of Jesus. The interior of the Church consists of a huge mosaic of Jesus. You are not allowed to take pictures inside the church , but I still wanted to take one sneakily. One stinky eye from M and I refrained from even touching my camera inside the church. This basilica lies on the top of the Montremartre hill offering expansive sweeping views of Paris and is the highest point in the city. Definitely must visit.
The Facade of Sacre Couér
Later that evening, I visited the Etienne Church and went souvenir shopping. Walked all the way to the chapel in the Palais de Justice. Unfortunately they had a concert in the complex that night and it was closed for the visitors.This Saint Chapelle has one of the best stain glass galleries and was highly recommended to me.I hope to see it on my next trip.
The Beautiful Etienne Church.
In love with that purple door!
That night, we went to see the Eiffel one last time at night.It was the best best decision ever. The Eiffel Tower looks spectacular when it is all lit up. Every hour it puts on a show of lights.Yes, it shizzles and sparkles. It looks very much like the Eiffel of your dreams…romantic, majestic and elegant. I tried my best taking these night shots without a tripod.
The Sparkling Beauty
The Eiffel at Night!
And that was our last day Paris. We tried to pace out our trip but I would have loved to stay a day more and just hangout and experience the culture a little more. Definitely coming back to visit the Palace of Versailles and see the Eiffel sparkle some more.. 😀 Cya in Venice!
Some Travel tips:
1. Please carry a travel adaptor.
2. The Palace of Versailles, The Gardens of Versailles, The Louvre Museum and the Eiffel Tower all have apps in the iOS app store. Check them out while planning. You can decide if u need to spend extra on the audio guides or you can just hear the audio tracks from your apps and save some bucks.
3.I also referred to the Rick Steves site while planning.Though the areas he suggests are highly commercialized, it doesn’t hurt to look at his recommendations and decide for yourself. They also have a walking tour app.