One of the most visited cities in the world and a modern day traveller’s gateway to Europe, Paris is a city filled with charisma and beauty from centuries of rich history, architecture, art, fashion, and that distinct Parisian way of life.
Travelling from St. Pancras International in London, it was incredible to ride the Eurostar and traverse the Channel Tunnel. I remember how amazed I was watching the NatGeo Channel Tunnel Mega Structure documentary as a child, and just the idea of finally witnessing it was like my geeky childhood dream coming true (no exaggerations intended).
Highly recommended if you’re planning to visit Europe from the UK! It was our first time using the Eurostar and we were happy we made the choice. Boarding the train was less exciting compared to boarding a plane, but in terms of skipping the hassle of limited kgs in luggage, the dreaded sorting of liquids and electronics from your carry-on, and the hours of waiting and queuing through airport security and passport checks, I was very much pleased leaving the plane adrenaline behind. Also, seeing the views of the French country-side was better than the (fairly) repetitive views of clouds and skies.
Seeing River Seine made me think about how major cities in the world have truly flourished next to rivers and other bodies of water. For the places I’ve visited, we’ve got River Thames for London, River Seine for Paris, Vltava River for Prague, The Wien for Vienna, Spree for Berlin, Danube River for Budapest, River Avon for Bath, Singapore River for Singapore, and… (this cannot be missed) Pasig River for Manila!
Paris transport relies heavily on the Metro subway (where you’ll have the luxury of marvelling at beautiful station names and pronunciation). They’re not the cleanest trains and platforms though, but hey, they’ve got fancy double decker trains that works and takes you to places without delay. You just have to get used to (quite) heavy metal platform ticket booths and its somehow gloomy atmosphere.. otherwise you’ll be fine!
Ah. There she is. Paris’ treasure that gracefully stands. The icon that will not make you think twice that indeed, you are in the City of Lights, La Ville-Lumière.