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An American in France, the Tourist Edition

Posted on | July 24, 2013 | Written by Garrett Kowalsky | 2 Comments

Garrett 004In May and June I offered you the first two parts of a multi-part blog series based on my travels this spring in France. Previously, I highlighted incredible food selections and also provided a bit of a history lesson on some of the oldest winemaking traditions in Burgundy. Today I wanted to share a little more with you, and to be quite frank, this entry is based on the “tourist” in me.

While in France my father was often caught exclaiming, “All you guys do is take pictures! You guys are such tourists!” I am not sure if my father was aware, but we were actually the exact definition of a tourist as we were visiting for pleasure. So in my mind, all pictures were justified. Along the way we stopped at many different landmarks, many of them quite familiar to you I am sure. I wish to reassure you that no matter how many times you see them on TV or in film, they are truly worth at least one visit on your first trip.

Here are some of my favorite tourist destinations.


Garrett 013During the day the Eiffel tower is bustling and quite unpleasant due to the number of people popping in for a visit. I suggest stopping by at night. Not only are the crowds less, but I find it to be far more impressive and majestic lit up against the night sky.






Garrett 023Honoring those that fell during the Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars, the Arc de Triomphe is quite a sight in person. Beyond the actual monument, though, I was absolutely astounded at the “traffic circle” that goes round the monument. Car insurance in this city must be outrageous.



Garrett 081Notre Dame is of course on everyone’s list and there might be no more awe-inspiring moment than when you step into the grand Cathedral as a service is going on. Hey, as long as I didn’t use the flash they said it was OK.




Garrett 128This is Versailles. Correction: this is the front entrance of Versailles. Addendum: This is just a fraction of the 20,000-acre property that is Versailles. From spectacular frescos to unreal furniture and expansive gardens and entire towns located on the property, this one takes a day to visit…maybe two.


Garrett 432This is Notre Dame. Ah, but not the Parisian version. This is the Gothic version located in the heart of Strasbourg. The feel in the Cathedral and this city is Markedly different from that of Paris, and the architecture here in particular is a “showstopper.”


2 Responses to “An American in France, the Tourist Edition”

  1. Henry Hwu
    July 25th, 2013 @ 1:27 pm

    Very nice Garrett. I had fun just reading and thinking about your trip.

    Thank you,

  2. Garrett Kowalsky
    July 25th, 2013 @ 1:54 pm

    Thank you, Henry! I am glad you enjoyed it. I hope the more I write about it, the more it will compel people to visit France themselves. Once you experience Burgundy, you see it in a whole new light!

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