Paris is probably the only city in the world that can manage to be romantic and fun while being disgustingly dirty and way overcrowded with people. It must just be that all the good things about the city far outweigh the bad ones. Our first night we walked through the city to the Eiffel Tower, and we both agreed that this is one tourist attraction that is totally impressive and worth seeing. It is enormous when you go right next to it, almost surprisingly so since it looks kind of small from further away. Then we walked along the Champs Elysees, watching the many people and window shopping at Cartier, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Ferrari, and lots more super-expensive places. We had read in a book that Paris is "intoxicating at night" and that is the perfect way to explain it.
We packed lots in to our short visit - the Louvre Museum, the Centre Pompidou, the Arc de Triomphe, Notre-Dame, and more. The Louvre is great, although Mona Lisa is pretty disappointing. The Centre Pompidou is the modern art museum, and it was a refreshing break from all the other museums we've seen. Although, both of us were pretty confused at some of the "art." Seriously, if you ever want to feel dumb and un-cultured, visit this museum. More than once we whispered to each other, "I just don't GET it!" I mean, really, how is a canvas painted in just white paint called art? Or a coat hanger bent into a squiggly shape? Some stuff was wonderful and really unusual, creative, and impressive, but some of the other things looked as though someone stole it from a kindergarten classroom. There are some modern-art lovers reading this, and you are probably cringing....sorry! The Notre-Dame cathedral is fantastic, and when we visited there was a mass going on so it was neat to hear the choir sing and just to take in the experience. It seemed kind of unreal to us that people get to go to mass each week in Notre-Dame! At night we climbed to the top of the Arc de Triomphe and got a perfect view of the whole city. And, of course, throughout the day we ate awesome food....croissants, pastries, crepes - yum!