From a very a young age, me and my family have visited many cities throughout Europe on numerous occasions. At the start I wasn’t very sure on why we would go so often and would be very disheartened to see all of my school friends going to Disneyland Florida for the third or fourth time whilst I travelled to Paris or Rome or Barcelona time and time again. It was frustrating especially because I was only young and found it very boring. But the older I got I started to appreciate these cities more.
It was my first time visiting Paris this year in about four years therefore my memory was a bit foggy of the city. One thing that stood out was how culturally different the city was compared to Cardiff, which was a given really, but I didn’t realise to what extend. As soon as I arrived at the Charles de Gaulle Airport my first instinct as a true Welsh man was to go for a drink, but the one thing I noticed was that there wasn’t many public houses in Paris. To be completely honest, I didn’t see a single one. This made me realise how different our societies are, where we’re considered to be ‘binge drinkers’ in the UK, where as in France they drink to enjoy their drinks. This became obvious when we realised they did not sell large measurements of Beer as they were not used to drinking them.
As a city, Paris is definitely considered very creative and cultural, and as you walk through the huge city you can see why many people choose to visit there on city breaks or on romantic holidays. The elegant façade of Paris buildings reflect the stylish architecture of European Renaissance urbanism where many of the city architecture in Britain is a reflection of post-Blitz modernism. Indeed it definitely has some very bold architecture with sights such as the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe, but one that caught my attention was the Pyramid du Louvre. The way that a museum from 1793 was renovated in a way to have a bit of a modern twist on it by adding the Pyramid du Louvre into the architecture was very creative in my opinion and it definitely attracted a lot of people to that destination all year round.
Image right (http://www.pariszigzag.fr)
What made Paris different was not only how the architecture was different than in Cardiff and the UK, but how life was different. The breakfast for starters (pun not intended), were pastries and fruit, compared to the greasy spoon breakfasts that are sold in small cafe’s near local train stations that we Brits love so much. The way of life that they live is very different to the way we live and I think that contributes to the vibe of the city that tourists from all over the world love.
Being dubbed as the ‘Fashion Capital of the world’ is also another factor that adds to the aroma of the city. The Parisians have a certain “je ne sais quoi” in terms of style and panache that the general British public lack. Their outfits of linen and fine leather contrast badly with shell suits and trainers that seem to be the choice of many Brits abroad. Fashion and art are both considered to be creative fields, and in Paris you can see it all over the city, if it’s walking down Avenue des Champs Elysées and seeing all of these glamorous clothes shops or taking a stroll down to one of Paris is most iconic landmark, The Eiffel Tower, which in a way is a piece of art that stands out throughout the city and attracts millions upon millions to the city each year.
The images without ‘image rights’ underneath were used from (http://www.publicdomainpictures.net).