We live and die; Christ died and lived! ~John Stott
Yes, Easter holidays were just around the corner and I got busy planning my second and longest Euro Trip! Euro Trip 2 as I’d like to call it. The first one was to Italy. After a lot of thought and numerous permutations and combinations considering the visiting order of cities, I came up with the following plan. It was going to be a 10 day trip spanning France, Monaco and Germany. First stop Paris.
Our group of 5 embarked on the trip with a 17 hour bus journey from Copenhagen to Paris. Some may think “Tht’s a tiring start!”, but it was not the case at all. The overnight bus journey was extremely comfortable and adventurous! Included in the drive was a 45 minute ride in the ferry from Copenhagen Port to Hamburg, a smooth drive on the world famous German Autobahn and criss-crossing through some famous landmarks in Brussels late night:) Early morning next day after a quick stop at the Belgian-French border, we were in Paris at 10 A.M. The early morning ride was something to cherish. Here check out the short video.
Our hotel Villa Du Maine was a bit far from the city centre, so by the time we figured out where it was, went there and checked in, it was already 12 P.M. We were out on the streets at 2 P.M. Our only agenda for that day was to visit the Eiffel Tower and explore some nearby areas on foot so there was no rush. After a hearty meal we took a metro train and were on our way to see the Eiffel Tower. The plan was to climb the tower at a time, which would cover both before and after sunset vista of the city below! We had reached a little early so we spent some time loitering around the iconic tower. Things went as planned and soon we were boarding the first of the two elevators. Personally it was a special moment for me as it was a dream come true. There are no words to describe that “dream coming true” feeling! As soon as we stepped out of the elevator on the second level, all our fatigue had vanished. The view below was stunning. The aerial view was at a perfect height, not too high and not too low. Looking up, the tower summit was still a long way to go. We spent some time at the second level before taking the second elevator to the 3rd level. At the top, air had become cooler and the city had become quieter. I don’t need to stress or mention it but, it was a fabulous view from the top! The sun was going down and the night view of the city was emerging slowly and steadily. We went down to the second level and waited for the sky to turn black. The city lights below were absolutely a treat to look at. The whole city was looking as if being adorned by countless jewels. The view is something to cherish forever. Things turned more beautiful as 20,000 bulbs started flashing around us. One word – Amazing! Instead of taking the elevator down, we decided to climb down the stairs from the second level. We felt as if we were walking inside a giant sculpture. It was quite a long way down and took us almost 25 minutes to get back on ground level, of course we stopped quite a bit in-between for taking pictures :). It was such an amazing place that we ended up spending almost 3 more hours around the Eiffel Tower before going back to our room to crash for the night.
Day 2 for us began at 9 A.M. It was Easter Sunday. The first Sunday of the month and Louvre entry was free. Mona Lisa, here I come 🙂 Surprisingly there were not many people in queue, when we reached the museum. It was a quick entry for us and we made full use of the time, exploring the vast museum. The museum can simply not be covered in a single day, it is so huge. There is so much to look at! If you are a fan of museums, I would suggest that you set aside at-least 3 days for the museum itself. I was spell bounded by the amount of brilliant art all around. Each painting, each sculpture was a masterpiece worthy of extensive research. Finally, it was there, the world famous work of Leonardo da Vinci was right in front of me. Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you… The Mona Lisa! Standing there in front of the painting, I could not help but think; Has it been over hyped? Frankly, in the museum I had seen more beautiful artworks than the Mona Lisa. Anyway, we left the room and I decided to buy the Mona Lisa! Don’t jump on your seat, it was just a 1500 piece jigsaw puzzle, similar to the one of Sagrada Familia that I bought in Barcelona. Here it is completed..Mona Lisa made by me 🙂 Following Da Vinci Code’s trail, we saw the inverted pyramid before leaving the museum and moving on to our next destination. The next destination was again from Da Vinci Code. It was Saint Sulpice church, where we went to see the rose line! It was exciting :). It was a perfect sunny afternoon and so we decided to take a walk in The Luxembourg Garden. The park was jam packed with people enjoying the sun. After spending some time in the park, we started walking towards then walked towards Notre Dame de Paris. Our timing could not have been more perfect. As we reached the cathedral, the Easter Celebrations were just beginning. This was totally unplanned and it felt like a blessing to attend the Easter Mass in Notre Dame! Each one of us was ecstatic. It was almost sunset and after the mass we walked back to where we had started our day from, The Louvre Museum…
Paris, my friends, is not over yet…