Have you ever wanted to go somewhere so bad and things just gotten so fast, it felt you dreamt the whole thing up?
Paris is one of my childhood dream destinations. I'm finding it rather difficult to write this up as the most anticipated trip of my life has gone by quick as the wind. Why? It was a last-minute trip. No plans. Good thing is — it's still a dream come true!
Arriving early morning at Charles de Gaulle Airport, we headed straight to Paris by train, roughly an hour trip. It had been a rainy and gray weekend, but my hopes are high it was going to be a fabulous day. And it turned out to be exactly just that. Enjoying the city itself is fairly straightforward. You could just wander around without a plan or take a walking tour. Obviously, got no plans.
The day started with a short walk from the river Seine flowing beautifully right through the heart of Paris. It is also known as Paris' most beautiful avenue as some of the city's most iconic landmarks are located near the Seine.
And the most iconic landmark, of course, would be my long childhood dream — La tour Eiffel. There it was. I couldn't believe I was in Paris looking at the Eiffel Tower! It was LOVE at first sight.
Designed by Gustav Eiffel, I read that the tower was built for the 1889 World's Fair and was not actually intended to be a permanent structure. Talk about history, the construction took about 2 years which started from January 28, 1887 until finally completed at the end of March 1889.
I wasn't expecting the actual size of the tower in its majestic entirety compared to how I imagined it in pictures and movies my whole life. And how fascinating the wrought-iron structure on it was. Certainly, it's the most photographed tower all over the world. It might be cliche and a bit overdone, but I wouldn't miss taking a selfie right in front of the grandiose tower.
I didn't make it up to the top considering the queue is ridiculously long and a lot pricey. Oh, well. Maybe next time. And honestly, just seeing the tower itself and walking around in its shade along water fountains and green grassed park of Champ de Mars was more than satisfying. It really was an amazing sight.
I get to relax and savor the taste of Paris by walking up and down the Seine river. The banks of the Seine can be considered as the beach of Paris, lined up with Parisian artists, booksellers, and small souvenir shops. Took a stroll along the river, where the bridges and quays abound Paris treasures like the Louvre and the Notre Dame Cathedral rising in the distance.
The slow stroll led us to the City Island locally referred to as Île de la Cité. It is located in the middle of the Seine at the very heart of Paris where the Notre Dame cathedral is. I came to know the cathedral from a childhood Disney movie, The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Seeing it in real life is just another dream-to-reality moment. Such a stunning display of gothic architecture.
In the afternoon, we've reached one of the world's largest museums — the famous Louvre. The museum just happened to be closed on Tuesdays.
Perhaps not the best day to visit, but for an unexpected trip, seeing the Louvre Palace and the Pyramid is just magnificent and breathtaking — less the crowd.
Later in the evening, I couldn't miss my chance of seeing the Eiffel Tower's iconic golden glow. The tower sparkles for 5 minutes on the hour, then remains lit up afterward.
Adjacent to the tower, I marveled at that moment. That first time feeling of seeing the grand tower while sitting in the grassy park of Champ de Mars. It's truly one of the nighttime spectacles every visitor to Paris should see.
It was a short trip indeed, but I still managed to fulfill another childhood dream of mine before leaving the city. And I had to push and sneak this one!
There's just no better place to let the child in you run free than the magical world of Disneyland — albeit smaller than the original theme parks in the US. As this was my first time, you could obviously say that I was re-living my childhood dreams.
It's amazing how I fit in perfectly well, as young and old alike enjoy one of the most famous amusement parks around the world. And yes, it's indeed the happiest place on earth!