Tag Archives: Eiffel Tower

La Tour Eiffel: You never forget the first time…

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©JoyLovesParis

When thinking about going to Paris for the first time, many dream of the beautiful boulevardes, the famous museums, the cafés, and of course, getting your first glimpse of the Eiffel Tower.  It’s probably the most recognisable landmark in the world and is often seen on screen, in print and is replicated in many forms (it’s an essential Paris-lover / Francophile accessory!).

©JoyLovesParis
©JoyLovesParis

Once you finally arrive, it’s a surreal feeling. Dreaming about being somewhere for so long then finally getting there is an amazing experience.  You first seek out the Eiffel Tower. Virtually anywhere you are in Paris, you just have to look up to see it. The first time you see her will likely be memorable.  It’s then when you know that you have finally made it.

©JoyLovesParis
©JoyLovesParis

I still remember the very first time I saw her. I was 24 and travelled to Europe for the very first time, solo. I chose a special fare that landed in Paris then a Eurostar trip to London a few hours later.  I took a taxi from Charles de Gaulle to Gare Du Nord and remember seeing her.  She was peeking out through buildings as we entered the outskirts of the city. My heart almost leapt out of my chest, and I felt the biggest smile form on my face. I fell in love that day.

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My first trip to Paris in 2005

If you have a memorable story to tell of your “first time”,  please share in the comments below.

À la prochaine!

JLP

Le dîner en blanc

I was fortunate enough to be able to access highly sought-after tickets to this year’s event in Sydney, in late November. It has inspired this article on the event, which started in Paris, bien sûr.

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Image source : Dîner en Blanc Paris

Every June, thousands of people, fashionably dressed in white, crowd the streets of Paris armed with trolleys and baskets. They are headed to a secret location, to celebrate food, friendship and fun. Invitations to this event is limited to those who have previously attended and their guests.

There are some simple rules to follow at the event which stay true to the original concepts and keeps the event unique.  They include taking along one guest, a table, two chairs and picnic basket, to dress elegantly in white, and to leave nothing behind at the venue.  There are also a few traditions that occur at every Dîner en Blanc; the waving of white napkins to mark the start of le dîner and the lighting of the sparklers to open up the dance floor.

The very first event took place in Paris at the Bois de Bologne in 1988, when François Pasquier organised a gathering for friends and asked them to wear white to make locating each other easier. Since then, the Paris chapter has seen events held at spectacular venues such as the pyramid at the Louvre, Pont Alexandre III, Trocadéro and Palais Royale, to name a few!

Le dîner en blanc events currently take place in many cities around the world, showcasing their landmarks and public spaces.  The first event in Sydney occurred in 2012 with the grounds of the Museum of Contemporary Art as its inaugural venue.

I’m looking forward to attending this all-white event and sharing my experiences.

For more information, visit Dîner en Blanc, Paris and click the links to find an event near you.

Paris, Joy t’aime

Arc de Triomphe ©JoyLovesParis
Arc de Triomphe ©JoyLovesParis

The city of light, the city of love. There are so many clichés to describe Paris, and only once one has visited the famed city, does one know why. I have been lucky enough to visit four times, and my love for the city has developed from that of a naïve infatuation to a deep and meaningful respect.

Your first trip is like meeting someone for the first time. With excitement and anticipation you look forward to discovering everything about them. You explore the city with an innocence and your head in the clouds. After recognising the landmarks your head spins with the reality that you have finally made it there.

Some may never return, happy to have had the opportunity to have visited. But for many who do travel back, the experience may be different from the first.  You find new places to explore and return to your favourites. On your rediscovery, you may start to notice things that you might have ignored the initial time.  The dog poo on the sidewalk, the smell of the metro, and the numerous suspicious looking characters trying to sell you souvenirs or sign a petition. Reality kicks in that Paris is really just like any other city.

The last time I arrived at Charles de Gaulle in 2013, I recall seeing the Bienvenue à Paris (Welcome to Paris) sign and smiling to myself (probably looking completely mad!). Despite the numerous hours of travelling to get there, I happen to find a grin on my face on every trip.  Each trip has been such a different experience, with each one revealing something new. I have accepted all of the so-called “negative” aspects as part and parcel of the whole Parisian experience. Like with anything you love, you have to know and take both the good and bad.