Paris – The City of Lights (Final)By Mable Tan • Feb 20th, 2009 • Category: Travels
Boy, after three months worth of traveling, I’m finally sitting down at my favourite spot typing this post. The place I call home. There’s a sad layer of dust on my muffin tray. So now that I’m back, it’ll be lovely to whip up some cakes and spoil my friends again (they’re waving their empty containers at me).
I do have a few more pictures of Paris to share with you. Ever since then, I’ve been living in a spell – the French enchantment. Everywhere I turn, I see posters in French, patisseries, pictures or paintings of France. I adore the city and I’m sure there are many, many fans out there just as madly in love with it as I am.
Paris is truly beautiful. And I will visit her again, a longer visit and in a warmer season – that’s a promise I intend to keep.
Notre-Dame cathedral on the Ile de la Cité.
Sacré-Coeur – The basilica was built as a memorial to the 58,000 French soldiers killed during the Franco-Prussian War (1870-71). It took 46 years to build, finally completed in 1923 at a cost of €6 million. We were there in time for the Sunday evening service and waited for the organ to play. A nun then walked to the front and opened her mouth, singing in the most beautiful soprano voice ever. I do not know the words, but the mere sound of the song was so sweet, my eyes teared and my heart filled with joy. An experience that truly took my breath away.
Our tiny French room with a view near the Jardin de Luxemborg. In fact, for the first time in days and on our last day in Paris, we were greeted with sunshine and blue skies. A sad twisted irony for any traveler.
Because we chose to travel during winter in Paris, we paid fairly reasonable rates. The Hotel Residence du Palais is not quite your conventional hotel as they’d bought several floors of the French Latin Quarters and converted it into hotel rooms. It does give out a warm and friendly atmosphere and if you ever need some assistance on how to get around, stop by and chat with the manager. He’ll be happy to pass on some advice and let you play with his gorgeous cats.
Pére Lachaise Cemetery is the largest cemetery in the city of Paris. Located in the 20th arrondissement, it is reputed to be the world’s most-visited cemetery, attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors annually to the graves of those who have enhanced French life over the past 200 years.
The cemetery houses the most ornamented headstones I’ve ever seen. Most of it contains not an individual but families, even generations. I’d even noticed a few Chinese names here and there. The cemetery is huge and I wholly recommend taking a map and having a few hours to spare. Unluckily for us, we had to rush to the Beauvais Airport to catch our plane back to Stockholm. But I know for sure there will always be a next time.
“We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.” — Teilhard de Chardin (French Geologist, Priest, Philosopher and Mystic, 1881-1955)