PicturePhoto by Charry Garcia
By  Charry Fatima D. Garcia

It’s exciting to go on a trip abroad, but it is more exciting to see one of the most famous and most visited cities in the world. When you hear “Europe”, the first thing that come into your mind is that city in France.

The world famous city I am talking about is the much-loved Paris. This word can be found everywhere; on shirts, bags, notebooks, pens, and some even on toilet paper. But, what’s the buzz about this city and what made it so popular?

My family set foot on Paris last summer to celebrate my 18th birthday. It’s a wonderful experience because instead of wearing sunglasses and sleeveless dresses, we wore jackets and scarves on a summer vacation.

When we reached the French capital, we planned to take the train to get to our hotel, but we didn’t know where to go, for all the signs and instructions were written in French, so there’s no way we would be able to understand them. Thanks to an African who was sitting nearby, who helped us buy a train ticket and led us to the right train that will take us to our destination.

We first visited the busy and historical Champs Elysees Avenue. There sat restaurants, fast food chains and shops that will almost cost your wallets a cry. I saw the biggest Louis Vuitton shop there! If you can afford a trip to Paris, why not spare some Euros for an LV handbag or a pair of Zara jeans. 

Paris is also famous for its crunchy and mouth-watering macarons. Almost every restaurant in the city sell these cream-filled biscuits. In fact, even Mcdonald’s sell some. One of the top sellers of these scrumptious macarons, Ladurée, sits in a corner of Champs Elysees and Rue Royale. Each double-decker macaron costs 4.75 Euros or nearly 95 pesos. My sister bought a dozen and, boy, she swept the whole box for only a day.

Standing at the end of Champs Elysees is the Arc de Triomphe built by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1806. The Arc is surrounded with 12 avenues, so you could just imagine how big it is. It surprised me because a trip to the peak of the Arc costs 10 Euros per head, so we decided to just take pictures in front by Charles de Gaule Avenue. 
The wide stretch of Champs Elysees Avenue.
PictureMy sisters and I under the Eiffel Tower.
Just a bus away was Trocadero Avenue, the site of the oh-so famous Eiffel Tower. No European trip is ever complete without visiting this iron structure. Named after its engineer Gustave Eiffel, it is visited by almost 300 million people, as of January 2013. The 324-meter structure holds a restaurant and elevators for visitors who wish to ascend to the top of the tower. I decided not to go up the tower because my companions were afraid of heights. Imagine how lonely it would be to go up alone. Having my photos taken in front and under the tower was the most memorable experience this summer. 

And, of course, a child-at-heart like me would love to visit the European home of Disney characters. The train ride from our hotel to Disneyland Paris was almost a 45-minute ride. The train, called the Metro, had two-level tracks, that’s why their trains are not crowded.

Unfortunately, it was drizzling when we arrived at the theme park, making the weather even colder. The place was packed with kids excited to see their favorite Disney characters. We also visited their souvenir shop, where we found loads of Disney-inspired items, even the characters from The Nightmare before Christmas were there.

Different kinds of sweets are sold around Paris. I bought a Nestle Crunch cereal and Nutella-and-go snack pack which are not sold here in the Philippines. There was also a variety of Kinder products which my sister hoarded.

There are many things I’ve discovered about this famous city - with the centuries-old buildings and streets, the rainy weather when people rushed inside buses, and the historical landmarks that carried with themselves stories of the times – and there are more about Paris to be discovered.

Upon leaving the city of love, I carried with me the memories of my first time to travel abroad, the time where I had experienced windy days in Europe. And upon leaving, I carried with me the hope to come back again for more adventures. 

8/31/2013 00:09:45

Great trip!


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