FRANCE

Richa Karamchandani trip to Paris and Venice

Richa Karamchandani and her friends had the time of their lives when they went on a memorable trip to Paris and Venice. They started in Paris with a two-day stay at a hotel. The heart of the city is what they appreciated the most, with the Eiffel Tower as the main attraction.
 
It’s the view from top that is to die for. We started our Eiffel Tower tour at four in the afternoon and by the time we reached the top, it was evening. So we experienced the afternoon and evening from the tower. One can see the entire city from the summit and the sight is breathtaking. There is a small bar up there too where my friends and I enjoyed miniature bottles of the local wine.
 
Right next to it is a small café where we had our dinner. The portion of each serving of food was so massive that the four of us had a difficult time finishing it. We had a margherita pizza followed by the local beer, La Parisienne.  After this, we strolled in the alleys of Paris and experienced the local culture and its ethnic diversity. People from all corners of the world were to be found – from Asian to American and African. The locals are very laid-back. .
 
Louvre Museum 
Next day, the Louvre Museum was on our itinerary. The Louvre was originally built as a fortress in 1190, but was reconstructed in the 16th century to serve as a royal palace. It continued to be expanded over the years. In 1793, Louis XIV moved the royal residence to Versailles, and the Louvre became an art museum. It features, among other categories, Egyptian antiques, ancient Greek and Roman sculpture, paintings by the Old Masters, and crown jewels and other artifacts from French nobles. Its works span the sixth century BC to the 19th century AD. On display at any given time are more than 35,000 works divided into eight departments: Near Eastern Antiquities, Egyptian Antiquities, Greek, Etruscan and Roman Antiquities, Islamic Art, Sculptures, Decorative Arts, Paintings, and Prints and Drawings. What made the deepest impression on us was the Mona Lisa.
 
After this we went to the famous Parisian bookshop, Shakespeare and Company. It is stacked with books of all genres and generations. Though there is not too much place to move around, the ambience here is very special.
 
original Louis Vuitton and Prada shops 
Then, with Paris being the fashion capital of the world, it is no wonder that its streets boast all the original Louis Vuitton and Prada shops – it’s like you have entered a new world altogether.
 
From Paris we flewto Venice and took a train to enter the city. The moment you come out of the station, you see people taking gondola rides on the Grand Canal.
 
Venice had long been my dream destination. It is a very romantic and unique city.
 
If you love Italian food, Venice is just the place for you, what with  a host of delicacies made with pesto sauce and, of course, a lot of Parmesan cheese, and accompanied with white wine. There are many cafes that one can go to, with mainly outdoor seating. You can also sit by the Grand Canal, dip your feet in it and have a good, relaxing time over a bottle of wine.
 
The ice creams here are mainly gelatos. My favourite flavours included tiramisu, and raspberry and mango sorbets. There were quite a few mixes of ice creams with ice-cream vendors and juice stalls at all corners.  
The gondola rides were the highlight of the trip. They take you all over the city and the gondolier tells you all about the historic sights on the route.  One bridge that especially struck me featured a glass ensemblage the segments of which reflected the environs in parts and not as a whole.
 
Eiffel Tower 
 
The  vibes of the two cities we visited were at once joyous and at the same time serene. I would love go back to them whenever possible and relive these moments all over again.