Paris: A Breathtaking Look at the City of Light

Paris Through Pictures

By Donnie Sexton, GoNOMAD Senior Writer

The Palais Garnier, also known as Opéra Garnier, is a 1,979-seat opera house in Paris. It was built for the Paris Opera from 1861 to 1875 at the command of Emperor Napoleon III. The Grand Foyer, shown here, is jaw-dropping in its splendor and opulence.

Wanderlust in Paris, The City of Lights

By Donnie Sexton
Senior Travel Writer

I wasted no time opening an email that arrived from Delta announcing special fares to Europe. For just 171,000 frequent flyer miles, a person could fly business class to several destinations, including Paris. I thought I had died and gone to heaven, having nearly 1,000,000 miles that rarely get used.

Within minutes, I had booked myself and my hubby a March trip. We rarely travel together, as most of my trips are story/ photo gathering missions that are easier accomplished solo. This was a big deal for us heading over the water as a couple. Flying business class was frosting on the cake!

Paris in Six Days

Unpacking the essence of Paris in a mere six days is challenging. There are so many iconic monuments, attractions, and museums, not to mention fabulous French food and wine. The photo ops would be endless. But for this trip with hubby, I knew running around chasing images wouldn’t be enjoyable for him. I threw out a few suggestions, but mostly we wandered at will and remained open to what street, shop, or attraction called out to us.
Thank you Delta, for a fabulous week in Paris! I’ll be on the lookout for other specials, maybe to Asian destinations (hint, hint).

Place du Tertre, a busy square near the Basilica of Sacré-Cœur, is a haven for artists on the lookout for visitors willing to have their portraits sketched or painted. The cost is typically around $80.


Finding a way to photograph the Eiffel Tower that hasn’t been done is almost impossible. I incorporated this carousel very near this iconic Paris landmark in my attempt to capture the scene.


The sinking house in Montmartre is nothing more than a camera trick, accomplished by tilting your camera or iPhone. You can find the building just to the right of the Basilica of Sacré-Coeur.


This could be an artist looking at his self-portrait or perhaps this man was the model in the painting. Who knows! You’ll find a hodge-podge of artists hard at work and anxious to sell their creations in the little village near the Basilica of Sacré-Cœur.


Sidewalk cafe
Rain or shine, sidewalk cafes are in abundance in Paris. It’s the place to linger over a glass of wine, smoke a cig or two, and get your fill of people watching. Never mind if the weather is cold and nasty, Parisians simply bundle up to hang outside.


History tells us that 1792, two Carmelite nuns sought asylum in Nancy, France during the French Revolution. They invented and sold macaron cookies to pay for their housing. The dainty cookie consists of two meringue biscuits with a ganache filling, and are found everywhere in Paris.


Louvre glass pyramid
The Louvre is the world’s most visited museum. Inside the its courtyard stands the iconic pyramid which serves as the entrance to the museum. Standing at 71 ft. high, it consists of 603 rhombus-shaped and 70 triangular glass segments.


I have found it’s really not possible to travel anywhere in the world where there isn’t endless selfies and selfie sticks in full view. Mostly I ignore them, but occasionally the people using them make me smile.


In the Montmartre neighborhood of Paris, you’ll find the Wall of Love made out of 612 enameled tiles. The phase, “I love you” is written 311 times in 250 languages on the tiles.


Sainte-Chapelle is a royal chapel built in the mid -13th century by Louis IX. It features1,113 stained glass windows. To visit, you need to purchase a ticket and reserve your time.


Crepes are a staple in Paris, having originated in Brittany. They are typically served one of two ways, either rolled or folded. The filling choices can vary from sweet (nutella, whipped cream, or honey) to savory (ham, cheese, sausage, or seafood).


There is something about Paris storefronts that this photographer finds very alluring and enchanting.
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