Paris... Paris. The romantic city, wonderful things to see, some so famous that you know them even though you have never seen them. Notre Dame, the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, Versailles, Sacre-Coeur ... All these places must be visited when coming to Paris, but often due to lack of time, some places or experiences are lost because out of the ordinary paths.
What could be more romantic than a delicious candlelight dinner on the Seine in a boat? Nothing.
You can tour Paris on the water, from Bastille, sailing past Notre Dame, the Louvre, the Orsay Museum and finally the Eiffel Tower. The experience reaches its best on the 14th of July.
On the 14th of July, the French celebrate the beginning of the French Revolution with the Storming of the Bastille, where for the occasion, the base of the statue on the top of the column at Place de la Bastille is surrounded by tricolour flags.
That night Paris is literally unleashed with parties everywhere, especially famous are the balls in the barracks of the firemen all around the city where people dance all night. There are all kinds of parties and glimpses of particularly strange ones may be caught on some boats passing by... The festivities culminate with an amazing fireworks’ display that reflects its colours on the water. The place of excellence to stop and enjoy the fireworks is at the Trocadero, or just under the Eiffel Tower, which for the occasion is even more lit up than usual.
Who is surprised that Impressionism was born in Paris has only to look around and admire scenes of the city to realize that art is in the air and every corner could be a starting point for a painting. Even out of focus photographs become fascinating in Paris.
Monet and other artists of his era are still present everywhere, the scenes they portrayed continue to be perpetuated over time. I've never been to the Moulin Rouge but I found Toulouse-Lautrec in the horse show in Chantilly, where every scene seemed painted by him.
Chantilly is a truly majestic place that I recommend to all for its historic and artistic interest, but especially to horse lovers that must visit the living museum of the horse and watch the show, which is fun. The famous racecourse of Chantilly is next to the horse museum.
Chantilly was the home of the Duke d'Aumale, son of King Louis-Philippe, who had inherited the castle from his godfather, the Prince of Condé. An exceptional man with multiple lives, he was also a great collector of art, so much so, that he left his collection of Chantilly to the Institut de France. Today, the Museum of Condé is one of the largest art museums in France with Renaissance paintings of Italian artists, Flemish and French.
Chantilly is located 40 km north of Paris and is easily reached by trains departing from both the Gare du Nord and Les Halles-Chatelet and it takes between 30-40 minutes depending on the train.
Chantilly is worth a day trip, buying the full ticket. The castle houses the art gallery, the collection and the beautiful library, which require some time to visit. Lunch is served in the restaurant of the castle and after lunch is the horse show in the horse museum. The show ends just in time to rent a buggy and tour the majestic gardens with its forests and lakes.
Does Chantilly sound familiar? The famous crème was first made here.