Now this is good: This is when your reading my blog year after year and scratching your head wondering why you're wasting your time on such nonsense FINALLY PAYS OFF!
Don't pinch yourself, don't rub your eyes you are not dreaming: this is for real. I'm letting you in on a scoop on how to win a Paris experience in hotel stays, vouchers and activities. I mean you were going to Paris anyway, weren't you?
Anytrip.com contacted me, offered to do a guest post here and I accepted. I've never allowed a guest post before but I think this is worth it, good info on beautiful Parisian landmarks to discover and then a chance to win. Meanwhile Anytrip is asking writers and Paris experts (me for example) to write a guest post for them. Mine I hear will come out on September 13th. I had a blast writing it and will post the link soon.
How to win: Go to Anytrip.com and enter the Love Paris giveaway. You'll need to 'like' the facebook page and post an answer to a question on the discussion wall. Not too hard. The odds to win so far are great.
Without further ado the guest post: The most beautiful buildings to visit in Paris.
Visitors to Paris soon realize that the magnificent buildings on the tourist maps are just the tip of the iceberg! Lurking throughout the city are marvels of brick, stone, wood and glass that rival the more illustrious landmarks -- but they are no less beautiful. Journey into hauntingly cryptic crypts or discover mystic chapels that don’t make “top ten attractions” lists but are just as awesome.
Basilique Royale de Saint-Denis
(photo credit: Jean Robert Thibault)
Every gothic cliché in the book(s) must have been inspired by the architecture of this magnificent necropolis erected to sanctify the remains of hundreds of French Royalty who lived -- and died -- in Paris' pampered palaces. Soaring arches adorned with haunting funeral sculptures of the long-dead aristocrats may make your hair stand on end, but the intricate beauty bestowed on the stained glass alcoves and sweeping promenades may well leave you breathless.
Château de Bagatelle
Delicious touches give this former hunting lodge a certain je ne sais quoi
(photo credit: Bebulaki)
Nestled among the Bois de Boulogne gardens, this charming 17th-century chateau survived the WWII bombings with only minor roof damage to remain a testament to a gentrified lifestyle. Such refined tastes that demanded even a common hunting lodge -- as this was originally designed to be -- maintain a neo-classical atmosphere. Perhaps that is why this originally humble edifice eventually blossomed into an elite retreat that looks good enough to eat?
Grande Arche de la Defense
Caption: Squaring the circle
(photo credit: Slasher-fun)
If your tastes lean towards contemporary marvels, treat yourself to a close-up look at the cubist dream come true, an arch that has no curves. Situated among the historical monuments erected to victory and war, this ultra-modern construction was built to honor peace and prosperity. Housing fine 5 star hotels, restaurants shopping venues and top shelf office space, the views enjoyed by the tenants inside are spectacular -- but standing in the center to gaze back along the axis historia aligning the great monuments of Paris is definitely one of those experiences you write home about.
Paris Opera House
Caption: Every inch of this opera house oozes elegance
(photo credit: Christopher Chan)
The outlandish extravagance of 18th century Paris drips from this decadent spectacle of grandeur on an impressive scale. Marvel at the ceiling hand painted by Chagall that so fascinated Earnest Hemingway as you stroll through the glamorous corridors that put modern theaters to shame with their intricate mosaics, fine sculptures and reflecting mirrors that amplify the effect a thousand fold. It is easy to imagine the fine gowns and courtly attire that once preened before those elegant mirrors.
The Madeleine Church
Caption: The Greek influence creates an atmosphere of temple rather than a church
(photo credit: Patrick Mayon)
Unlike the arch-filled cathedrals crowding Paris, this neo-classical beauty on Madgalene Square disdains the ornate trappings of Europe in favor of the solid geometric principles that sanctified the Greek Temples. Ringed with 64 Corinthian columns, the interior's clean asture lines create a feeling of sacred beauty. From the bronze doors to the apse holding the statue by Charles Marochetti of Mary Magdalene Ascending to Heaven, the simple lines of this classical design create a dignified yet stunning statement about the power of architecture.
About the author: Lela Lake is a life-long lover of Paris and writes for AnyTrip.com, the budget travel specialists. As well as browsing a great selection of cheap Paris hotels, you can currently visit their site to enter a competition to win a trip to Paris (ends 30th September 2011). Good luck!