Climbing the Arc De Triomphe
“Être parisien, ce n’est pas être né à Paris, c’est y renaître.” – Sacha Guitry
By day 3, it became very apparent to me that Paris was just as charming, understated and bursting with history as anyone would imagine.
I was beginning to discover new reasons to fall in love over and over again. It fed my curiosity in ways that I hadn’t experienced for quite a while and in a subtle way, it reminded me to stay true to myself.
In a world where every little detail is shared online and making noise seems to be the general consensus, I found it really refreshing to be in a city that remains peaceful among the chaos.
As is the case for many, the Mona Lisa was something quite high up on my list of things to see. I have to say though, I was disappointed.
Maybe it was ignorance on my part. For me, standing in front of this truly priceless painting (by French law it cannot be bought or sold) must evoke emotions that couldn’t be replicated by anything else. After all, there are many reasons why the Mona Lisa remains one of, if not the, most famous painting in history. As soon as I saw it though, I just thought “Oh right”
Don’t ask me what I was expecting because I’m not sure that I even really know, but for me, the surrounding paintings captured my attention in ways that the Mona Lisa didn’t. I found it a bit of a shame that everyone’s eyes were focusing so much on one painting when the surrounding art was not anything to be missed.
The Winged Victory of Samothrace however, was the absolute stand out piece for me. Stood on the prow of a ship, this sculpture dominated the entire floor of the Louvre that it was placed in. It was breath-taking.
It you plan to visit, I suggest making some sort of plan as to what you’d like to see. Louvre has a huge amount of things not to be missed and it can take almost a week to make your way around all of it.
Climbing The Arc De Triomphe
As Arc de Triomphe was less than a two minute walk away from where we were staying, we decided to wait until we were having a pretty chilled evening to stroll out and climb it to the top.
If there was anything during this trip that made me realise I needed to get back into the gym, it was climbing the Arc. Honestly, I think I was dead by step 10 and Simone was right behind me pissing herself laughing until we reached the final one. But my gosh, was it worth it.
We ended up spending quite a bit of time up there and even sat down at one point to take in the view and talk about life. I have known Simone ever since I was at secondary school and it was a moment of our friendship to remember.
Merci is a concept store that my sister recommended to me by saying that it was really up my street.
They sell everything from furniture to clothing and stationary to magazines. Its a great little place to grab food, buy gifts and even get a little treat for yourself. We found it quite hard to find at first but once we were inside, I could have spent ages exploring the Aladdin’s cave of chic Parisian goods.
If you’re looking for somewhere to check out for a bit of retail therapy, this is a place worth visiting.
I remember reading a quote by novelist Roman Payne where he said “People wonder why so many writers come to live in Paris. I’ve been living ten years in Paris and the answer seems simple to me: because it’s the best place to pick ideas. Just like Italy, Spain…or Iran are the best places to pick saffron. If you want to pick opium poppies you go to Burma or South-East Asia. And if you want to pick novel ideas, you go to Paris.”
A part of me always wondered just quite where he was coming from but finally, I began to understand. On the night of day three, I noticed my zest for writing return after what felt like a lifetime of absence.