Wednesday, December 2, 2009
City Snapshot: Paris
I haven't posted a city snapshot in a while... I recently finished reading "The Da Vinci Code", for the second time (one of my favourite books), and I started reminiscing about my time in Paris.
I was only there for five days, but it made an impression on me that I will probably never forget. As I was travelling alone, it was probably the city where I truly became confident in being on my own. It was also the city where I fell in love with Art Nouveau, and where I decided my dreams of becoming a fashion designer.
I guess with so much beauty surrounding you in a city, you can't help but be inspired! I can remember thinking to myself; if all of these artisans who created these beautiful masterpieces could dream, then why can't I?
I had been tossing up what career path I wanted before I left for my European trip. I was thinking of studying a teacher's degree, or coming home and starting my own label while working part time somewhere.
One path guaranteed a career and enough money; the other path would be rocky and little money, but was where my heart truly lied.
I had previously visited Rome and Barcelona before Paris (I will post a city snapshot of each soon, as well), and was frantically sketching ideas...
By the time I reached Paris, it was like a beacon yelling out to me, "this is what you MUST do!"
I fell in love with so many different types of art and architecture while in Paris and other cities. When I view my designs now, it is easy to see what inspires me; even my customers say my designs look more European than Australian.
So what about the city itself, you ask... I visited Paris in late February/early March- it was freezing! I stayed in the 5th arrondissement (division of the cities suburbs), and I could easily walk to most of the attractions (well, I like walking, and I walked across the whole city)- I guess I thought if I took the metro I would miss the beauty above.
Paris has many museums, and of course I visited the Louvre, and had a glimpse at the Mona Lisa- however, there were more artworks there that held more of my attention. To me, the Louvre is so big that you almost don't know where to start, and I was so tired before I could see more than 10%.
My favourite museum in Paris was the Musee d'Orsay. It houses works from many infamous artists, and is relatively small (compared to the Louvre- but then anything besides the Hermitage in St.Petersburg would be)- but this means you can easily view everything in the museum. If you want to see famous works that you will recognise, but don't want to spend a week in a museum, the Musee d'Orsay is for you.
Above is a photo, I took, when I went out at night. I discovered Nutella Crepes! A must on a cold night in Paris. I could eat 10 of them!
Another must see is the Notre Dame Cathedral. Such a magnificent structure, and so much detail and work was involved in its creation.
I also remember being amazed by the exceptional detail and beauty that each building, street and bridge had. I guess coming from Sydney, where everything is so modern, makes you appreciate the old grandness that a city like Paris has.