I’ll probably be at Charles de Gaulle airport as you read this (yes, we do schedule our posts), but since it’s my last official day in the land of cheap alcohol and pastries, I thought I’d write something about my week in Paris.
Don’t worry, I still want to share a lot more things about my three weeks in Lourdes, that also included volunteering, or you might worry because you’re dying of boredom. Anyway, Paris it is for now!
We took a six hour train to Paris and the train ride was really comfortable! Food on the train is pricey so I’d suggest bringing your own as we did.
The must see sights of Paris are obviously the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, River Seine and Arc de Triomphe (Arc of Triumph). Thankfully, we managed to cover all of it and included a different church every morning.
It’s quite hard to compile all we did in a single blog post although we didn’t do much, I must admit, but I’ll try my best to summarise.
On our first day, we went to Sacré-Cœur Basilica, also known as the Basilica of the Sacred Heart. After climbing up nine flights of stairs, we reached the beautiful church! Churches here are huge compared to the ones in Singapore, with massive and beautifully made stained glass windows and mosaic art on the walls and ceilings. We were also lucky enough to go when there was a festival going on outside, making the whole atmosphere very lively and me very excited!
There is also an art street just beside the church, where you can buy original art pieces from the artists themselves. You can still see them touching up their work or creating new ones! You can also get a portrait of yourself done by them or a paper cut out of yourself. If you’re looking for an original souvenir to bring back, art pieces are pretty cool but as they are original, prices are not as cool as you’ll hope.
In all honesty, it wasn’t that big of a deal. We didn’t bother to go up because of the insane queue and crowd, and from the bottom it does look like the photos. Nevertheless, I was still pretty pumped to see this world famous structure, and take many (terrible) photos of it and with it!
We went to the Church of the Miraculous Medal, on our second day, where Mother Mary appeared to St Cathrine Labore and told her to make this said medal. Her body lies incorruptible at the chapel. You can search up more about the stories and apparitions but I must share that when I saw the chair Mother Mary sat on, the only know apparition where she sits, I was so moved and felt like she was still at the chair – her presence was indeed so strong!
The nuns there come from all over the world and they also sell various donated and handmade items so do support them if you go there!
After that, and lunch, we went to Luxembourg Gardens! It’s huge and packed with locals and tourists alike, especially during the weekends. You may catch some performances the there, play traditional French games like pentanqué of which the aim is to throw your ball as close to the main one as possible.
I’m sure that there are lots more to see and do but we didn’t have the time to really explore the park.
The third day was mass at church of Saint-Eustache. The pipe organ there is massive and we were all trying to find the organist, to no avail. The church is located near Les Halles, which is a popular shopping mall however, it’s closed on Sundays. We managed to catch a flea market of sorts nearby though, where the sister bought some vinyls, for the fun of it. 😂
Monday, our fourth day, was Notre Dame! One thought: I am still so in awe at the quality of the construction of the church. Seriously, it shows no signs of falling apart though it has been visited by millions and standing for centuries. Amazing. Huge and grand as well, with all the minute detail and thought that went into the stained glass and carvings and everything wow. Still so very amazed.
Notre Dame is also located at River Seine, supposedly on an island in the river. The area around there is lively but also very touristy. Prices do flactuate and take your time to really explore before deciding which one to by or which restaurant to enter. We thought 3€ for a Nutella crepe was one of the cheapest then on the other streets there was a stall selling it for 2.30€. Call me cheapo but at least I still got to eat the ever famous crepes around here!
Day number five, we checked out this Russain Orthodox Church, and I didn’t really understand what was happening as they were having a service of sorts in a different language, had a McDonald’s lunch (which was satisfying. They had cheese balls!!!) and visited the Arc of Triumph! It was hard to take those “Instagram worthy” kind of photos as everyone was aiming for that perfect shot and you literally have to stand in the middle of the road. So, I decided to burst shot with a fisheye with my sister while crossing. Here is a gif of us:
We decided not to roam around too much on our sixth day as my cousin needed some rest and we had to do packing. Hence, we headed to the nearby St Christopher church which had beautiful paintings and I felt really inspired by the meaning of the saint’s name, which means Carrier of Christ.
As this post comes to an end, so does my stay in France and breathing the awesome French air as I take Air France back. I’ll definitely want to come back to Paris and visit Lourdes again, but for now, it’s Au revoir and Bon Voyage! ✈️