One thing I absolutely love about Paris is its skyline. Whenever I’m a few stories high in a building, I see a breathtaking view of the city, and I can’t believe that I’m really here. Sometimes I feel like I’m just dreaming, and this entire trip is all in my mind.
Last weekend I became a tourist once again and headed over to the Basilisque du Sacré-Cœur and the Arc de Triomphe to see some more examples of French architecture. While I hate acting like a tourist in front of French natives, I can’t help but whipping out my camera and gawking at something beautiful with jaw completely dropped. I’ve never seen such georgous, ancient buildings in my life, so if I must revert back to my American tourist ways, so be it!
When I first saw the Notre Dame, I thought, “Wow, this is pretty amazing.” But when I saw the Sacré-Cœur up close for the first time, I was completely blown away. You can see this Roman Catholic church from pretty much anywhere in Paris because it sits on top of the hill Montmartre, which is also the name of the area surrounding the Sacré-Cœur in the 18th district. My legs were aching after the long climb up to the top of the hill, but it was completely worth it in the end. Luckily the sun was shining that afternoon, and the view of Paris was absolutely magical. While the outside of the Sacré-Cœur is beautiful in itself, it’s the inside that left me speechless. There is a mosaic in the front of the church titled Christ in Majesty (one of the largest in the world) that gives this church a really unique and spiritual feel.
The next day I also saw an amazing view of Paris at the top of the Arc de Triomphe, which is an arch standing in the center of a turnabout on the Champs-Élysées. It was built to honor those who died in the French revolutionary and Napoleonic wars. It also holds the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, which includes an eternal flame that burns for the unidentified soldiers who died in both world wars. Although it began to snow while I was at the top, the view was completely worth it. You could see so much of Paris at once, from La Défense to the Sacré-Cœur.
Seeing the skyline of Paris makes me so excited to be here, and it reminds me how much of the city I have yet to see. The weather is just starting to get nicer here, so I hope to finish up my tour of the museums and monuments and to instead see more gardens and parks in Paris.