Popular holiday destinations in Europe. France. Part 2 - Paris.
Four days were enough for me. Enough to fall in love with Paris.
It was middle spring, April. The air was filled with the scent of blossomed trees ; flowerbeds seemed to be competing with each other in the beauty and brightness. Tulips dominated everywhere in their tenderness and variety of colors, making everyone enjoy the season to the full.
Every place that I visited left an impress in my soul. And now all of them are brought back to me, like a patchwork of memories.
Montmartre ( the Hill of Martyrs ) - the highest point of Paris (129 m) – is considered to be the symbol of French culture, the harbor for artists and musicians. The spirit of Bohemian life has been floating all over since the times when mixed talents found their home here.
Montmartre remembers such famous names as: Pablo Picasso, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Paul Gauguin, Amedeo Modigliani; a writer and publicist Émile Zola; a journalist and politician Georges Clemenceau. A singer and actress Dalida used to live here in a cozy house with a picturesque view of Paris down the hill.
I passed by the square of Marcel Aymé with a statue of a “Man going through the walls”. On the corner of Rue Lepic (Lepic Street) I saw the only real windmill in the city Moulin de la Galette. The “Wall of Love” impressed me by the sign “I love you” that is written on it in 311 world language.
La Basilique du Sacré Cœur (the basilica of Sacred Heart) crowns Montmartre. It is a Catholic church now and it was built to commemorate the sacrifices of wars and bloodshed. This is also a place from where you can see the magnificent panorama of Paris.
Notre Dame de Paris (French for "Our Lady of Paris") is “the heart” of the city. With its majestic view of the towers, stained-glass windows and statues the Cathedral makes an impression of a dignified guardian of medieval secrets.
The main touristic part of the city is situated on the right bank of the river Seine. Here the former royal residence Louvre is situated. Nowadays it is one of the biggest and the richest world museums. Its collection comprises of about 300 thousands works of art of all styles and epochs. Due to the lack of time I did not have a chance to spend even one day in Louvre, but I dedicated a short span to greet Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa. I whispered “Hello!” to her and she smiled at me enchantingly and enigmatically. How many times since my childhood years had I seen this painting in books! A dream came true – that time I saw her with my own eyes.
The Elysian Fields (Champs Elysees), the Triumphal Arch (l'Arc de Triomphe), National Museum of Modern Art (Centre Georges-Pompidou), Tuileries garden (Jardin des Tuileries), Eiffel Tower (La Tour Eiffel), Montparnasse, Sorbonne university – all these are just a few names without which Paris is not possible to imagine…
On my last day there I did not say “Good bye” and it was not a farewell. I am sure I will come back again. Paris, hope to see you soon!
- the scent of blossomed trees – a pleasant smell that comes from flowering trees – аромат цветущих деревьев
- tenderness – gentleness – нежность
- impress – a memorable mark in one's mind or soul – отпечаток, след
- the Hill of Martyrs – the place of commemoration of the people who were killed because of their religious or other beliefs – Холм Мучеников
- harbor – a place or situation that provides safety or protection – пристанище
- Bohemian life – life in an informal way that is considered typical of artists and writers – Богемная жизнь
- mixed talents – a varied mixture of gifted people – разношерстные таланты
- picturesque view – the view that is visually attractive – живописный вид
- bloodshed – killing or wounding of people, typically during an armed conflict – кровопролитие
- guardian – someone who protects or defends something – хранитель
- works of art – creative products with strong imaginative or aesthetic appeal – произведения искусства
- enchantingly – delightfully charming or attractive – чарующе
- enigmatically – mysteriously – загадочно
- farewell – saying goodbye to someone when you do not expect to see them again for a long time – прощание