Anyone who has visited both sides of the Atlantic Ocean know how different life is on the two continents. America and Europe are both Western societies, and they share many of the same values. But they live entirely different lives with completely various expectations of what it should bring them. Most importantly, history has been written on the Old Continent, and it is still at a very young stage in the USA. While Americans expect lightness and romanticism from a city such as Paris, chances are they will find beauty and strength.
The Paris idealized by Americans
The Paris that Americans love the most is often referred to as a romantic and artistic, in many articles that can be found on the internet. The images that they have in their mind, before they land, is of the iconic Eiffel Tower and the triangular entrance of the world-renowned Louvre Museum. Americans taking an NYC – Paris flight for the first time will also expect to eat divinely and feast on pastries and amazing wines. But although they are not wrong, they will still be surprised by it all.
Catching the Eiffel Tower flashing its light in the night for the first time, while you are seated in the back of a taxi, is something that can’t be understood until you have lived it once. That is because the sensation that the city brings to you cannot be found in any one, located in American territory. They are not better – simply different. To those who come back, the same scene will be an even more profound experience the next time around, as they slowly go deeper inside the soul of the city. As for the food, most Americans have tasted French cuisine in their own country. But the ingredients aren’t the same and the tastes are adapted to fit the palates of Americans. And so, when they finally taste a boeuf bourguignon that has cooked for over 10 hours before being served, they will appreciate the whole experience that is eating French cuisine on the streets of Paris.
What do Americans plan to visit and What they May discover Instead (or as well)
There are many iconic landmarks that will be on the list of American tourists when they hop on a plane from SFO to Paris, if they haven’t spent some time there before. We have already mentioned the Eiffel Tower, but we need to add others like the Notre-Dame Cathedral and the Arc de Triomphe to this list. However, when they start walking around town, they will end-up discovering many other sites that are not as well known on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean. For example, a visit to the Père-Lachaise Cemetery is something that will surprise them and remain in their memories, as they walk in front of Jim Morrison’s tomb. And although The Notre-Dame Cathedral is the most famous church in Paris, the one that may impress them most is located in Montmartre: The Sacré-Coeur Basilica. From there, they will catch a view of the whole town from above, as it sits atop a mount at the northern end of the city.
They will also spend time in museums that they may not have been aware existed before they arrived. Of course, visiting the Louvres Museum is a must, and most people will also find time for the Musée d’Orsay, where they will be amazed by the high number of masterpieces hanging on its walls. But it just may be the few hours that they spend walking around Rodin’s old house that they will remember most, once they are back home, in America.