© 2017 by Travel with Nina.

Visiting Paris with 0 €

April 22, 2017

 

RO: De cele mai multe ori cand plec intr-o excursie, majoritatea banilor se duc pe transport si pe cazare, ca doar fara ele nu ar exista excursia, asa ca banii de buzunar sunt destul de limitati. Am gasit recent pozele din prima mea excursie in alta tara, fara supravegherea parintilor sau a profesorilor, doar eu si Alex. Aveam 19 ani atunci, in vara de dupa primul an de facultate si eram extrem de entuziasmata de ideea unei excursii pe cont propriu. Eu si Alex am organizat totul, de la cazare, la avion si, pentru ca nu aveam niciun pic de experienta in acest domeniu, normal ca am facut o gramada de greseli financiare. Nu auzisem de Airbnb, nu stiam mai nimic despre companiile low cost sau despre reduceri, asa ca am platit mult mai mult decat am fi platit acum, iar la final am ramas cu un buget redus pentru vizitat, dar noi voiam sa vedem Parisul! Asa ca am plecat cu ce aveam si totusi am avut o experienta superba!

 

 

EN: Usually when I go on a trip, I end up spending most of the money on transport and accommodation - since there would be no trip without these - so pocket money is relatively limited. I recently came across some photos from my first trip to another country without parent or teacher supervision - just me and Alex. It was the summer after the first year of college; I was 19 then and I was very excited about the idea of a trip on my own. Alex and I organised everything, from accommodation to plane tickets and, since we had no experience in this field, we obviously made a lot of financial mistakes. We had not heard about Airbnb and we knew almost nothing about low cost airlines or discounts, so we paid much more than we would pay if we went now; in the end, we were left with a small budget for visiting, but we wanted to see Paris! Therefore, we went anyway and still had an amazing experience!

 

 

 

 

RO: 1. Muzeul Louvre: 0 EURO

 

Toata lumea a auzit de celebrul muzeu Louvre, piramida de sticla din curtea interioara fiind unul dintre simbolurile Parisului. Din fericire pentru noi, biletul era gratis pentru tinerii sub 26 de ani, asa ca am vizitat totul fara sa treuiasca sa platim niciun cent. 

 

 

EN: 1. The Louvre Museum: 0 euros

 

Everyone has heard about the famous Louvre Museum, as the glass pyramid from the interior court is one of the symbols of Paris. Fortunately for us, the ticket was free for people under 26 years of age, so we visited everything without having to pay for it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RO: Inca de la intrare am zis ca de abia astept sa o vad pe celebra Mona Lisa a lui Leonardo da Vinci, cea mai renumita opera din istoria artei. La Louvre, galeria de arta este cea mai mare galerie de acest tip din intreaga lume! Cand am ajuns, insa, in sfarsit, la pictura am fost usor dezamagita deoarece erau atat de multi oameni care incercau sa o surprinda pe Mona Lisa in poze incat de abia am reusit sa vad coltul ramei, dar macar am fost in aceeasi camera cu ea! Urmatoarea oprire a fost la galeria de istorie: antichitatile egiptene. Cred ca aici mi-a placut cel mai mult! Iubesc cultura egipteana, iar mumiile, sarcofagele, piramidele sau zeitatile m-au fascinat din totdeauna! Putin mai incolo am ajuns si la galeria cu antichitate greaca si romana, si apoi la arta islamica, africana si asiatica. Louvre-ul le are pe toate! Exponatul care mi-a atras atentia in mod deosebit a fost "Bell idol", o sculptura din lut, de la departamentul de antichitati grecesti, care intruchipa o zeitate a animalelor, a naturii si a vietii insasi, fiind adesea gasita in morminte. Eu si Alex ne-am chinuit vreo 10-15 minute sa prindem in poza sculptura, pentru ca lumina era atat de proasta incat nu iesea deloc clara, dar in final am reusit si am fost foarte mandri de noi! 

 

 

EN: Once I entered I said I couldn't wait to see the famous Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci, the most famous painting in the history of art. The art gallery at the Louvre is the largest of its type in the world! However, when we finally got to the painting, I was slightly disappointed because there were so many people trying to take a picture of Mona Lisa that I barely managed to see a corner of the frame; but at least I was in the same room with her! Our next stop was the history gallery: Egyptian antiquities. I think this was my favourite part! I love Egyptian culture and I have always been fascinated with mummies, sarcophagi, pyramids and gods! A bit later we arrived at the gallery of Greek and Roman antiquities and then at the Islamic, African and Asian art. The Louvre has it all! One exhibit that caught my attention in particular was "Bell idol", a clay sculpture from the Greek antiquities department, depicting a deity of animals, nature and life itself, which was often found in tombs. I struggled with Alex for 15 minutes to take a photo of the sculpture because the light was so bad it would not come out clear, but when we finally managed we were very proud of ourselves.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Bell idol)

 

 

RO: Fun fact: Dupa ce am stat vreo 6-7 ore in muzeu si am vizitat fiecare incapere, a trebuit sa fug urgent la toaleta unde am fost uimita sa vad ca la intrare era un fel de expozitie a hartiei igienice, fiind expuse pe pereti toate tipurile si culorile posibile. Nici nu stiam ca exista hartie igienica neagra! Mi s-a parut o idee foarte amuzanta. Ha ha ha!

 

EN: Fun fact: After I spent 6-7 hours in the museum and visited every room, I had to run to the bathroom, where I was amazed to see a sort of toilet paper exhibition at the entrance, with all types and colours of paper rolls exposed on the walls. I didn't even know there was such a thing as black toilet paper! I found it to be a very funny idea. Ha ha ha!

 

 

 

 

RO: 2. Basilica Sacré-Coeur si priveliste asupra orasului: 0 euro

 

O buna alternativa pentru turnul Eiffel este dealul Montmarte, de unde se vede o panorama asupra intregului oras, inclusiv asupra catedralei Notre Dame, a turnului Eiffel, a Pantheon-ului, a Operei  sau a centrului Pompidou! Pe varful acestei coline este basilica Sacré-Coeur, iar pentru a ajunge aici trebuie urcate 270 scari! Sau se paote alege funicularul! In antichitate, in locul actualei basilici, romanii construisera temple dedicate zeilor Marte si Mercur. In secolul al XIX-lea un grup de oameni influenti din Paris au pus bazele proiectului actual, Sacré-Coeur (inima sacra in limba romana) simbolizand bucuria si recunostinta scaparii cu bine a Paris-ului din razboiul cu armata prusaca. Basilica este recunoscuta pentru albul perfect al rocii din care este construita (travertin- roca poroasa de calcar), iar, ca un fapt interesant, atunci cand este o zi ploiasa, din roca iese calcit, care actioneaza ca un inalbitor, oferind bisericii un aspect de creta alba!

 

 

EN: 2. The Sacré-Coeur Basilica: 0 euros

 

A good alternative to the Eiffel Tower is the Montmartre hill, which offers a panorama of the entire city, including the Notre Dame Cathedral, the Eiffel Tower, the Pantheon, the Opera, and the Pompidou centre! On top of this hill you can find the Sacré-Coeur Basilica, and in order to get here you have to climb 270 stairs! Or you can choose the funicular! In ancient times, instead of the current basilica, the Romans had built temples dedicated to gods Mars and Mercury. In the 19th century, a group of influent Parisians laid the groundwork for the project of Sacré-Coeur (sacred heart) symbolising the joy and gratitude of saving Paris from the ravages of the Franco-Prussian War. The basilica is known for the perfectly white stone from which it is built (travertine - a porous limestone) and, as a fun fact, during a rainy day, the calcite contained in the stone acts like a bleacher to give the church a definite chalky white appearance.

 

 

 

 

 

 

RO: 3. Arcul de triumf si plimbare pe bulevardul Champs-Élysées: 0 euro

 

Un alt simbol al Parisului pe care nu puteam sa il ignoram este Arcul de Triumf, de unde porneste si celebrul bulevard Champs-Élysées, renumit pentru magazinele sale de lux (si nu numai - erau si magazine de care "ma puteam atinge"). Arcul de Triumf a fost construit la ordinul imparatului Napoleon I care a vrut sa onoreze astfel armata franceza, considerata la acea vreme, de neinvins. Monumentul a fost finalizat la 15 ani dupa moartea lui Napoleon I, iar acesta nu a apucat sa vada, din pacate, rezultatul final. Pe peretii albi ai arcului sunt scrise 128 de batalii din timpul domniei imparatului, alaturi de numele generalilor care au luptat pentru Imperiul Francez. Inainte de Arcul de Trimf, pe acest loc era o constructie in forma unui elefant urias pe trei etaje, cu o scara in spirala in interiorul sau, trompa elefantului continand un sistem de drenare a apei. Interesant, nu? 

 

EN:  3. The Arc de Triomphe and a walk on the Champs-Élysées: 0 euros

 

Another symbol of Paris that we could not ignore was the Arc de Triomphe, which is also the starting point for the famous Champs-Élysées boulevard, renowned for its luxury department stores (and not only - there were also some affordable ones). The Arc de Triomphe was built at the orders of emperor Napoleon I who wanted to honour the French army, considered undefeatable at the time. Unfortunately, the monument was finalized 15 years after his death, so he didn't manage to see the result. 128 battles during Napoleon's reign are inscribed in the white walls of the arch, along with names of generals who fought for the French Empire. Before the Arc de Triomphe, there was a construction in the shape of a three-storey elephant on this site, with a spiral staircase inside of it, and the elephant's trunk contained a water drainage system. Interesting, isn't it?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RO: 4. Tur pietonal in zona catedralei Notre Dame cu un ghid localnic: 0 euro

 

In Paris exista numeroase tururi pietonale ghidate care nu costa nici macar 1 euro, cateva exemple fiind turul cartierului Montmartre,  al cartierului Latin sau a zonei Notre Dame. Timpul alocat fiecarui tur difera de la cartier la cartier, dar in cazul explorarii imprejurimilor catedralei Notre Dame, plimbarea alaturi de localnicul francez dureaza 75 minute, limba prezentarii fiind engleza sau franceza, dupa preferinta. Turul incepe in fata catedralei unde ghidul povesteste legenda cocosatului de la Notre Dame, Quasimodo, si date istorice si arhitecturale ale locului, precum si avantajele sau dezavantajele cartierului, urmand sa se indeparteze de zona turistica, spre strazile vechiului Paris medieval din spatele catedralei. La sfarsitul expeditiei, grupul se reintoarce la locul de pornire, ghidul fiind pregatit pentru o noua prezentare. Multi aleg excursiile de la agentiile de turism tocmai pentru a avea un ghid alaturi de ei care sa le explice locurile vizitate. Daca putem alege un ghid gratuit, de ce sa nu economisim niste bani?!

 

 

EN: 4. Pedestrian tour around the Notre Dame Cathedral area with a local guide: 0 euros

 

There are numerous pedestrian tours in Paris which do not cost one euro - among them the tours of the Montmartre neighbourhood, the Latin Quarter or the Notre Dame area. Time spent on each tour varies depending on the neighbourhood, but in the case of Notre Dame and its surroundings, a walk with a French local takes 75 minutes, with everything being presented in English or French. The tour starts in front of the cathedral, where the local tells the story of the hunchback of Notre Dame, Quasimodo, offers historical and architectural data and points out the advantages and disadvantages of the neighbourhood. We then move away from the tourist area, towards the streets of Medieval Paris, behind the cathedral. In the end, the group comes back to the starting point and the guide is prepared for a new tour. A lot of people book their trips from travel agencies in order to have a guide with them who can provide information on the places they visit. If we can have a free guide, then why not save some money?

 

 

 

RO: BONUS: 5. Croaziera Hop On Hop Off pe Sena ca mijloc de transport prin Paris: 19 euro - 2 zile sau 17 euro - 1 zi

 

O  oferta care mi s-a parut chiar avantajoasa a fost cumpararea unui bilet valabil 2 zile pentru croaziera pe Sena. Pentru doar 19 euro puteam atat sa ne relaxam pe bancheta unei barci si sa admiram Parisul, cat si sa ne dam jos la orice statie si sa continuam explorarea orasului pietonal, urmand sa ne reurcam cu acelasi bilet oricand voiam sa ajungem in alta zona. Majoritatea atractiilor pe care am vrut sa le vedem erau oricum in apropierea Senei, asa ca noi am folosit croaziera mai mult ca mijloc de transport; unul mai putin conventional decat metroul, dar mult mai frumos. Opririle la care se putea cobori erau: Turnul Eiffel, Museul Orsay, Saint-Germain-des-Prés, Catedrala Notre Dame, Jardin des Plantes/Cité de la Mode, Hôtel de Ville, Muzeul Louvre si Beaugrenelle. La un moment dat ne-a aparut in fata ochilor si Statuia Libertatii, o replica evident, dar a fost amuzant sa ne simtim in New York pentru 2 minute.

 

EN: BONUS: 5. Hop On Hop Off Cruise on the Seine as a means of transport in Paris: 19 euros for 2 days or 17 euros for 1 day

 

One of the great offers that I found was buying a ticket for two days for a cruise on the Seine. For just 19 euros we could relax on a boat/ship and admire Paris, but also get down at any station and continue exploring the pedestrian city; also, whenever we wanted to get to a different area we could go back on the ship with the same ticket. Most of the attractions we wanted to visit were close to the Seine anyway, so we used the cruise more as a means of transport; it's less conventional than the subway, but much more beautiful. You could get down at the following stops: Eiffel Tower, Musée d'Orsay, Saint-Germain-des-Prés, Notre Dame Cathedral, Jardin des Plantes/Cité de la Mode, Hôtel de Ville, Musée de Louvre and Beaugrenelle. At one point we even saw the Statue of Liberty - obviously it was a replica, but it was nice to feel like we were in New York for 2 minutes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

Paris, je t'aime! 

 

TRANSLATED BY MATTHEW B.

I haven't been everywhere, but it's on my list,

NINA

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