Monthly Archives: April 2013

The French Delights

When I was a small kid I used to dream of visiting the land of the French Revolution. When I finally got a chance to visit this country, it was a mesmerizing experience. France attracts a lot of visitors every year, but tourism is not one of the major earners for the country. When you tour France, you feel why is it? There is so much to see in this country. You can plan any type of tour – whether it is historical, pilgrimage, seaside, village, skiing and backpacking. There are attractions for people with every liking. Even the major cities in France such as Paris, Burgundy, Normandy, Corsica and Lorraine are supremely beautiful. I had decided to focus on two main cities Paris and Burgundy as my tour was only of three days. However, on arriving at the Paris airport, I was suggested by a local tour guide to make Paris my base. He told me that all the attractions that I planned of visiting were within a few hours of driving distance from the French capital. The hotel that I stayed was marvelous with intricate French architecture and characteristic gardens.

 

Day 1

 

After a complete day of rest I woke up in the morning with an intention of viewing the local sites of Paris. My first destination was the icon of France that is the Eiffel Tower. On the way to this heritage site I was intimated by my guide that when this monument was completed it was highest structure in the world. He also informed that Eiffel Tower took two years to be completed and each of the pieces used in the tower was individually designed. Most tourists paying a visit to Paris definitely visit this Tower and why shouldn’t they? On reaching the top of this tall structure I was swept off my feet. You can view the entire Paris city from atop the Eiffel Tower.

 

My next destination was the Notre Dame Cathedral. This chapel was one of the first Gothic Cathedrals. The Cathedral took more than 100 years to be completed. You will be marveled at the Gothic architecture present within the Cathedral. There are adorned spires, towers, statuary and stained glasses which will make you stay on for longer. However, as I had many other places to visit so I dragged myself out of the Cathedral but not before seeing the Hunchback Quasimodo’s vantage point.

 

My next location was the Sacre Coeur, which is a white dome situated at the highest point of Paris. This basilica again has semblances of French architecture. There are gold mosaic interiors and a terrace that offers great views of the Paris city. By this time the light had already started to fade so I made my way to the last place of attraction for the day. It was The Louvre. The Louvre holds the largest collection of 20th century painting, sculpture and other decorative objects. I went through the works of Rembrandt, Vermeer, Caravaggio and other masters. I even had enough time get close and personal with Mona Lisa!

 

Day 2

 

Next morning I took a 3 hour drive to reach Burgundy, another beautiful city in France. I started the tour by visiting Abbaye de Fontenay, which is a well preserved Cistercian abbey. The location and architecture of this 12th century abbey was very pristine. The abbey has well maintained gardens and fountains all over the compound.

 

Next, it was turn to visit the Chateau D’Ancy-Le-Franc which is one of the best existing castles in France. The castle also has an Art Gallery featuring some of the ancient France classics. I called it a day after this magnificent castle.

 

Day 3

Next day I visited Dijon which small city with a rich history. There is a series of beautiful buildings in the city such as the Ducal Palace and Musee des Beaux Art House. I also enjoyed the pleasure of having some fine French dishes.

 

During the rest of the days I visited other sites of interest in Paris. I could not just get over the beauty of Paris. The French experience is simply delightful, it is dream come true.