Showing posts with the label Paris

Visiting King Louis at the Chateau de Versailles

Being a fan of the 90’s Three Musketeer films (which starred Chris O’Donnel, a sober Charlie Sheen, and Jack Bauer himself, Kiefer Sutherland; and later on Leonardo DiCaprio), I always wanted to see where the Musketeers had faithfully served the King and fought against the forces of the evil Cardinal Richelieu, as masterfully played by Tim Curry.

That being said, I was thrilled at the chance to visit the Chateau de Versailles, one of the most beautiful and famous palaces in history.

* A statue of Louis XIV on horseback can be found on the very front of the castle grounds, looking all gangsta and victorious. Louis XIV, known as the Sun King and Louis the Great, was the King of France and Navarre for 72 years: the record for longest reign ever!

He was so old when he died, that his great-grandson inherited the throne as Louis’ son and two grandsons were already dead! Having won three major wars (against Germany, Spain and the Dutch), Louis was king during France’s highest point in histo…

The Artistic Quarter of Montmartre with the Fantastic View from Sacre Coeur

Frequented by the likes of Pablo Picasso, Vincent Van Gogh, Claude Monet, Salvador Dali, Amedeo Modigliani and Piet Mondrian, Montmartre is Paris’ artistic quarter.

An area bustling with poets, street performers, musicians, young lovers, philosophers and gypsies; it seems that one could come out of this place a little bit more creative and reflective just by breathing the air.

Definitely a MUST for every traveller in Paris, Montmartre is where one would go not to admire buildings, works of art or masterpieces; but people and the creative spirit.

* Coming out of the Abbesses Metro, one can’t help but feel cozy walking along the streets of Montmartre. So this is the real charming part of town.. no grand museums or monuments to kings, no outward displays of religious art; the most interesting part of this area is the people itself. Just charm, pure charm.

Tribute to Warfare - Musee de I'Armee and Napoleon's Tomb

One of the most overlooked attractions in Paris is the Musee de I’Armee. Located in Les Invalides, this museum has one subject and one subject alone, WARFARE.

Originally, I wanted to see the place only because it contains Napoleon’s Tomb, which is something I had wanted to see ever since I saw the episode of GI Joe where the Joes battled Cobra because Cobra needed Napoleon’s DNA to build Serpentor. (Geek talk) But this place turned out to be so much more.

Containing weapons, armor and artifacts from antiquity, the dark ages, the Renaissance, all the way to the two World Wars, this Museum is as awesome as it gets, it being one of the largest and most complete military museums in the world.

So fellows, when all that your ladies want to do is shop along Champs Elysees, do yourself a favor; HEAD HERE!

And feel the manliness coursing through your veins.

* After getting off the Varenne metro stop, one must take a very pleasant walk towards the Museum. I would highly recommend you listen to…

Historic Paris - Ile de la Cite with Notra Dame and Saint-Chapelle

Ile de la Cite(or Lutetia to us Asterix fans) is a small island located in the very center of Paris. Consequently, it is where the city of Paris was founded and contains its most ancient buildings.

* The Palais de Justice (Palace of Justice) is where the justice of the state has been administered since medieval times. It was also the seat of the French Parliament from the 16th Century to the French Revolution.

Two Grand Museums: Palais du Louvre & Musee d'Orsay

Right after the morning in the Catacombs, we made our way to the Louvre for a half-day of sculpture appreciation and pretend-reflection on the various paintings, mumbling things like, "This painting.. it moves me.."

Being a lifelong fan of sculptures(which is the reason why I’m a huge stickler for playing with clay, plaster and action figures; but that’s a different story), I was excited to see all the beautiful works-of-art hand-made by various masters throughout the centuries. May it be Greek, Egyptian or Renaissance, I wanted to see them all. What surprised me though, was how I came out much more appreciative of paintings, especially the huge-ass ones depicting key moments in French history.

* One of the funniest posters that I saw on the Paris Metro on the way to the Louvre. Wonder what it’s about..

The Catacombs of Paris

One place that I had been looking forward to seeing in Paris was the Catacombes de Paris. It has been on my bucket-list of Places to Explore ever since I saw it being featured on the 90’s TV show, Scariest Places on Earth.

Paris, being the historical city that it is, has been home to millions of people throughout the centuries. And like every city, its citizens have needs: food, water, shelter, security, a vibrant economy, culture. However, with all that life, also comes death. Millions of Parisians have died here creating a unique situation when it comes to body disposal. So instead of adding to the already numerous and overflowing cemeteries, the local government long-ago decided to just create a network of tunnels underground and to store everyone there in a first-in, first-out basis.

The result of this is the Catacombes de Paris, aka the final resting place for a whole lot of unnamed Parisians who lived back in the Dark Ages, Renaissance til the 19th Century and who died in all s…

Hello Paris!! CDG, Arc de Triomphe & Eiffel Tower

After Barcelona and the Mediterranean Coast, our adventure continued on to Paris where I was totally stoked to spend 5 full days exploring the city.

Having grown up with images of Paris from books, movies (with Da Vinci Code and Taken as my personal favorites) and stories from friends and family who have gone before me, I was fully prepared to absorb as much history, sightseeing, culture, arts and culinary delights as I could in those 5 days. Leave the shopping for the ladies of the group, I was here to get my sensory overload fix!

* The EasyJet terminal in Barcelona kinda reminded me of one of our own airports here in the Philippines, NAIA 2; not the run-down, “world’s worst airport” yet strangely charming (in my opinion) NAIA 1.