We spent four nights in Paris during the last part of our honeymoon, and while it was a quick visit it was also quite beautiful. At some point my wife asked me if I thought Paris was more beautiful than New York. Of course I said yes. Now this doesn’t mean I don’t like New York – I love where we live in Brooklyn and all of our friends are nearby. But when you look at all the wrought iron, the old structures, the history that comes out of the city, Paris truly is a beauty.
We arrived in the early afternoon and immediately took a cab from the train station to our hotel: the Marriott Opera Ambassador, a wonderful 4-star establishment within walking distance of the Paris Opera House (which unfortunately was closed during our stay) and easy public transit to get to places like the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, and even Versailles. While the bed was not the comfiest of our stays the staff was kind enough to add an extra pillow top making it a bit more amenable to our tastes. There was plenty of space to put our stuff (a nice armoire with a safe) as well as a desk that was easily usable. The bathtub was large – a feature my wife enjoyed greatly – but strangely the toilet had its own room. It made it easier if we had to go to the bathroom if the other person was in the bathtub or shower, but it was a bit odd. Overall, a great place to stay and the staff was wonderful.
We started off in Paris simply walking around, an easy thing to do in a city that developed when the fastest mode of transport was horse-drawn carriage. We saw some wonderful promenades and funny signs and learned that it is true what they say about Parisians vacationing for much of August: there were signs everywhere about closed businesses and when they would return.
We spent time at the Eiffel Tower, learning about its original purpose as scientific equipment and how it was supposed to be torn down a few years after completing the experiment. We walked past the Louvre and later I got to visit it (my wife was feeling too tired). I got to see various museums with arms and armor as well as scale models of locations across Europe where French kings fought battles. Napoleon’s Mausoleum was quite a sight as well – such a large encasement for a small body. We also visited Notre Dame after waiting in a line that seemed to be long but really was short; inside we saw some Church gold!
I took half a day to go visit the Palace of Versailles and was really amazed at the scale. Unfortunately, it was a bit of a rainy day so the views weren’t as spectacular, but the majesty of the rooms and the artwork displayed was incredible. The building itself was magnificent and it was quite amazing to learn about its development over two hundred years. There was even an extra exhibit inside a hall showcasing artwork of all the battles France has won explaining the French assistance during the American Revolution – incredible. I spent a few hours there by myself and returned back to Paris where we explored further.
Paris was amazing and we spent too short a time there. We plan on returning in the future to explore more and maybe we’ll stay at a Starwood property this time….