Monday, 17 December 2012

Paris – Beyond Being A Dream

Photo Credit: Jyotsna Marcus

My sister and her husband visited Paris recently – a city renowned to be one of the most sought after destinations. Their trip turned out to be more of an eye-opener than a holiday.

A tête-à-tête with my sister revealed an uninviting side of Paris to me. Although I haven’t visited the city myself, I always thought that it’s a classy place with a lot of interesting history behind it. Well, keeping that aspect aside, Paris falls short of the obvious expectation that a foreign country has to be clean and well-maintained.

Q. How did you imagine Paris in your mind before your trip?

A. My imagination of Paris was quite a bit influenced by movies, the way it has been showcased in most of them. Since it is considered to be one of the most romantic places, I imagined it to be a pleasant and beautiful big city with lots of interesting roadside cafes where we may sip coffee, relax and enjoy the view around.

Q. What was your first impression of the city the moment you arrived?

A. It looked like one of the big cities in India (like Mumbai or Delhi), lots of flyovers and under construction work on road, less of greenery (quite contrary to my expectation). I was still expectant to explore the better part of Paris as I thought maybe we are seeing the worst part of Paris.

Q. What would you say is the essence of Paris?

A. My trip to Paris was a short one and I didn’t quite like the place, so most of my time went in shock (and recovering from the shock) that I am not liking one of the most sought after destinations of the world. From whatever I could gather in this short trip I don’t know if I know the essence of Paris. Maybe it is the architecture.

Q. One thing that surprised you –

A. The city is quite dirty i.e. the roads, trains, station and the most surprising part the area around Eiffel Tower is also full of garbage. The city is not well kept and still full of tourists.

Q. One thing that will bring you back –

A. Maybe I would like to visit Paris in another season. I visited Paris in its peak summer and everything around was dry, and personally I don’t like summers much. I hope to see a better Paris in spring, autumn or winter (of course the city will still not be well kept).

Q. Anything useful that you would like to share (hotels/deals/packages) –

A. We traveled from Holland to Paris so the deal we picked might not be useful for anyone else. We took a bus from Eindhoven to Paris which was not a very good experience, so I would suggest that one should prefer a train over a bus. We stayed in Hotel IBIS which is an economy hotel and quite decent for a short holiday like ours.

Well, that was Paris from Jyotsna Marcus’ eyes. I just hope that the city doesn’t lose its charisma and it remains to be the classic romantic destination that it's known to be.

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