La Ville-Lumière: The City of Light
Returning to Paris, probably the 6th time I come in my life, but still great as usual. There is a bunch of cities I never mind returning, most of which I do yearly as is Brussels, Rome, Barcelona, Madrid of course as it is my home town, and Paris for sure. This time, with 2 more friends, a great group the four of us full of joy and laughs. Therefore, and although I did have a great guide for Paris already created in my blog, I will be just making a brief make over and update here and there to make it even better. Rewriting parts, updating others, but still retaining the format for a perfect three day visit under the what to see and do section since that is the ideal time you should plan when visiting Paris for the first time. Then with the time, at future trips you might do, enjoy doing something different. Paris is one of those cities where on every visit you will end up discovering a new corner.
It does not matter the times I have been; my impressions are still the same. On one side I really love the city, because of its great urbanism, architecture, beauty, elegance and somewhat opulence; but in the other hand, it does not feel too secure, the transports are not efficient (specially buses) and the inaccessibility of the metro system where a escalator or lift seems to be a piece on engineering not invented yet. Air conditioning? Who needs that! Whoever thinks that London’s tube in summer is hot and sweaty, here in Paris you should think twice. And while it is true that new trains are phasing out the older ones, it will take several years for a proper upgrade. Anyway, the point is there. Every city has good and not so good sides. This is what makes the difference from one place to another, country to country.
What is unique in the city is its massive urban planification. The work of Georges-Eugène Haussmann between the years 1853 and 1870 where most of the medieval city was torn-down to make way for straight wide avenues, parks and large squares interconnected by streets following a perfect pattern; creation of a new sewage system and embellishment of the city with monuments and public fountains. One of his key elements is the Haussmannian apartment block, or Parisian apartment block, where he treated the buildings not as a single element, but as an homogeneous whole. Equal heights and proportions, similar to each other if not symmetrical. This is what makes Paris one of the most elegant and perfect cities in the world, however, can result “boring”. Everywhere you go and look, it’s the same, in a same palette of colours; monotony only broken by the landmark constructions such as the Opera Garnier, or Place de la Concorde, the Arch de Triumph, Place de la Bastille, Place Vendome and so on.