My first visit to Europe was a remarkable experience, which I will cherish throughout my life. It was a solo trip to the most romantic city Paris! There is no escaping the romance of Paris. You will truly, fall in love with the city. Ahh! It reminds me the glories of the past. I really thank my Ph.D. for giving such a wonderful experience. Ahh!! Don’t be confused, let me explain why “Ph.D.” played such a big role in filling my travel diaries.
After enrolling for the Ph.D. program, I was very keen to take part in international conferences. I got a chance to take part in the EMBL conference in Heidelberg, Germany. When the Schengen visa got stamped into the passport, why to miss the “City of Light”-Paris? It was a great feeling to arrive in Paris and see the romantic city. It was love at first sight. I pre-booked my stay at Smart Place Paris, in central Paris, 100 meters from Gare du Nord Metro and SNCF Train station. It was early morning 6 am when I reached Gare du Nord metro station. I stepped out of the station and started looking for my hotel. God! All the streets looked similar. I became anxious and confused. I approached a person, who looked like an “Indian” and asked him to help me to find my place. I felt as if I found an “Oasis” in the desert. By his help, I could reach my hotel, and to my surprise, he was a Pakistani! Felt like, India-Pakistan rivalry exist only at the borders. It’s just an opinion of the kind-hearted person I met.
After a good breakfast, I visited world famous the Louvre museum. View of the museum was breath-taking, large glass pyramid serves as the main entrance to the museum. It reminded me of the movie “The Da Vinci Code”. The only thing came to my mind, while entering the museum was to photograph with World famous painting of Mona Lisa. The Louvre has paintings, sculpture and other antique objects around the world. It took two and half hour to complete the Louvre museum tour and finally, I reached the masterpiece of Italian Renaissance artist Leonardo da Vinci the “Mona Lisa”. It is among the greatest attractions in the Louvre and it was under strict security surveillance. Unfortunately, it was most crowded time! Now it's time to explore rest of the Paris. I boarded the very famous Hop-on Hop-off tour bus, which I booked with Big Bus tours. It cost me around 26€ for one-day tour, and trust me it’s worth it. I could visit most of the attractions including, Arc de Triomphe, Paris Opera and Notre Dame Cathedral. Sitting at the double-decker and exploring Paris was incredible!
It was around evening 6.00 when I reached the symbol of Paris, Eiffel Tower. I was on the top of the world. It was a pleasant evening, with a lot of fun and happiness. Lastly, I visited Canal and love Lock Bridge. It’s a ritual in Europe where the names, date, or initials of the sweethearts are inscribed on the padlock, and its key is thrown away so the love is unbreakable. The bridge was looking beautiful with colorful padlocks. Sun was about to set, piercing the water canal between its Renaissance-era buildings. Must say, romance was in the air. It was late in the evening and I was hungry. I decided to eat in a restaurant near to my hotel. The restaurant was run by an Indian origin (Punjabi) - French guy. They welcomed me warm-heartedly, and I had an amazing French meal with a glass of wine. Let me tell you, I got a discount too, all thanks to my Indian origin. I reached back to the room by 9.00 pm and the beauty of the city was breath-taking with illumination. Paris stays lively all night long.
I stayed in Paris just for one day and had a fantastic time. I must say, Paris is the city that can be enjoyed with the person you love or just by yourself. No matter who you are with, I’m sure you will love your time in the city of love, light, fashion, wine, and romance. It is very important you plan your trip before stepping to Paris for the smooth and hassle-free experience. Yes, it is much important to carry metro map and city map. The city is well-connected with metro and I had a great experience. Travelling solo is a great joy! I loved everything about this romantic city. I would love to come back to experience it again and again.