In response to my current obsession with the world's most beautiful city - see here and here - I have decided to post about my previous visits to Paris. I first visited long ago with my parents and sister, but on that holiday the joys of digital photography did not exist. I later visited in my final year of university on my backpacking trip around Europe with my sister and, periodically, a couple of friends. We visited the main tourist sights but also took in a couple of off-the-beaten-track cafés and restaurants, although sadly I don't have many photos from these moments. My main memory of the Eiffel Tower is of how much space there is surrounding it. It was the height of summer and the middle of the day, but we still managed to find a quiet picnic spot to take in the spectacular views of the structure. We visited twice - once just as night fell and a second time in the middle of the day, and if you have the time and money, I would highly recommend doing both. At night the atmosphere is incredible - the lights of the city twinkle in the distance and you feel as though you are a whole world away from civilisation. But the views in the day make a second trip necessary in my opinion. They are vast. Book online early to save excess queuing - you will still have to wait, but it won't be for as long.
The Notre Dame was also a sight for sore eyes, particularly when viewed from the river. I'm not usually a fan of boat trips; I prefer to meander the alleys and sneak into bookshops on my way around, but this was one occasion on which I was glad my sister had convinced me otherwise. You can see the soaring cathedral from all angles too; perfect for photography (next time I go I'm taking so many more photographs!).
The Louvre and the Jardin des Tuileries were a highlight of the trip, and we returned many times to the gardens to soak in the Parisian air. Similar to the Eiffel Tower, although the gardens were busy, there was always a quite spot under the shade of the trees that line the central pathway, or on rickety metal chair next to one of the fountains. I'm not surprised that so many writers emigrate to the city with so many spots for pensive moments.
The final two images were taken at Sainte Chapelle - a beautiful Gothic building in the heart of Paris, sometimes overlooked for the bigger sights and sounds. The stained glass is second to none; and I have seen a lot of stained glass in my time. Do any of you have any Paris recommendations for my next visit? We're thinking of spending our honeymoon there!