As promised, here’s the second and final part of my Paris Diary, I hope you like it!
After Montmartre, we opted for La Defence – Europe’s largest purpose-built business district with 560 hectares area, 72 glass and steel buildings of which 18 are completed skyscrapers. After visiting some of the most classic attractions, we wanted to explore an area off the tourist map and I’m really happy with our choice. What got my attention is The Grande Arche de la Défense – a modern triumphal arch built at the end of the 20th century that marks the end of the Triumphal Way, the east-west axis that connects the Louvre with La Défense.
Walking all day worked up our appetite so it was time for crepes! Our friends recommended ‘Creperie des Arts’ – a little café in the Odeon / Saint-Michel area. The first thing you will notice is the unique seating and tables, all moulded as if carved out of a cave. Both savoury (galettes) and sweet crepes were delicious, the service friendly and, if you’re a cat person like me, you will love the cat who wanders around the restaurant and entertains the customers with his purring 🙂
Our third day was entirely dedicated to Museums; we purchased the Orsay / Orangerie Combined Ticket (16 Euros) at the tourist office inside the Galeries Lafayette. There are many tourist offices in the city centre so my advice is to skip the queues and buy your tickets from one of them. The Musée d’Orsay is housed in a former railway station built in 1900; home to many sculptures and impressionist paintings, it’s one of Paris’s most popular museums.
Situated in the Tuileries Gardens, the Musée de l’Orangerie offers two prestigious collections: Claude Monet’s Water Lilies and the Walter-Guillaume Collection with its masterpieces of Modern art from Renoir to Picasso. Needless to say, both museums left me speechless!
After the cultural indigestion, we filled our eyes with a spectacular sunset and enjoyed the quiet at the Tuileries Gardens.
On our last day we visited Notre-Dame, the majestic cathedral on the the Île de la Cité that beats even the Eiffel Tower in popularity, with 13 million visitors each year.
Our day ended at the Centre Pompidou; designed by Renzo Piano and Richard Rogers, is home to the National Museum of Modern Art and is internationally renowned for its 20th and 21st century art collections.
Next to the Centre Pompidou is the Stravinsky Fountain, an eccentric public fountain ornamented with sixteen works of sculpture, moving and spraying water, representing the works of composer Igor Stravinsky and created in 1983 by sculptors Jean Tinguely and Niki de Saint Phalle.
Time to get to Gare du Nord station and hop on the Eurostar now! We really couldn’t ask for a nicer introduction stay in Paris, I fell utterly in love with this city and I can’t wait to go back 🙂