Paris had been my dream city for a while - being one of the two cities which I wanted to go to even when I was a kid! The other being Newyork, which turned out to be 1st foreign trip. I was in Munich a year later and seriously contemplated taking an overnight train to Paris, but did not have enough time. Later, I passed by Paris during a trip to California, but a proper visit to the city remained a dream even after so many years! When I was scheduled to be in Italy for a week, I had made up my mind that a visit to Paris was a must this time and ended up booking my return tickets from Paris.
After a few days in Rome, Vatican, Pisa, Florence and Venice, we took an overnight Euro train  from Venice, which took us to the Gare de Lyon by 9.30 in the morning. The accomodation was booked at Hotel Palym, which was walkable distance from Gare de Lyon, but the check-in time was later in the day. So, we just dropped the luggage at the hotel and managed to freshen up a bit before heading out to see the city.
Metro was the means of transport and we first headed towards Champs Elysees. As we got out of the metro station, we were treated by a group performing in the street.
It was a bright and clear day, as we roamed around Arc de triomphe for a few pictures. The lunch was also taken at Champs Elysees, after which we headed back to the hotel and checked in.
Later in the day, we were at the Champs de Mars station marvelling at the Eiffel tower.
Not having booked the tickets to the top of Eiffel tower , we had to spend a while in the queue. But, the wait was worth it, as we were treated with all around views of the Paris city. River Seine was a prominent feature on one side.
On the other side, we could see the stretches of green at Champ de Mars, with the shadow of Eiffel tower falling over it.
We were able to locate Champs Elysees as well from the top.
With the evening sun shining brightly, throwing a golden tint at the horizon - and a good dose of breeze, it was quite magical!
As we got down, it was almost 9.30PM, but still looked quite bright, giving us enough time to stroll around Champ de Mars.
Only after 10PM it started getting dark and the Eiffel Tower was illuminated. By then, we were on Pont de l'Alma, crossing river Seine, to catch the cruise boat at Bateaux-Mouches .
The cruise was a good experience, as we were taken up and down river Seine, with a few of the landmarks in Paris located at the banks. We passed by the L'ouvre museum and turned around Ile Saint-Louis, one of the two islands in river Seine.
On our way back, we passed by the Notre Dame cathedral - which looked quite impressive in the night - before passing by our starting point.
Most admirations were reserved for the illuminated version of Eiffel tower, which looked quite stunning and was visible most of the second half. The cruise went further ahead before turning back around Ile Saint-Germain and returning to the starting point.
We managed to click a few more pictures in front of the Eiffel tower before rushing back to Champ de Mars station to catch one of the last trains back to the hotel. We had gone for the penultimate cruise for the night, which helped in the end, as the last one may have been too late, making it difficult to catch the metro back to the hotel.
Early in the morning, I was back at Champ de Mars again, to take a few more pictures of the Eiffel Tower in the morning light.
Later in the day, we were back together in the metro station, heading for Montmartre. At Montmartre, we walked up a road with a lot of shops on either side, selling memorabilia - towards a hill hosting the Basilica of Sacre Coeur.
The Basilica was beautiful with the white structure contrasting so well with the lush green manicured loans all around it.
We were headed to the L'ouvre museum next, but with some metro maintenance work going on in the area, the station was closed. Reaching there by alternate means would have taken more time and did not make sense as the museum would have required a lot of time to even take a cusrory look. Instead, we ended up at the Place de la Concorde, which had witnessed a lot of important events in the French history.
The Obelisque of Luxor stands at the center of the Place de la Concorde, with the two Fontaines de la Concorde on either sides. One could even get a view of the Eiffel Tower from here.
We even managed to go to the Galeries Lafayette, unique with its central dome and balconies all around.
Last stop was at the Notre Dame Cathedral, before we headed back to the hotel to collect the luggage and take the metro towards the Charles de Gaulle airport.