I almost forgot to mention that we stopped for an overnight in Poitiers on our way to Paris. Since it was just an overnight stay, we arrived late and just had dinner. From the brief encounter Poitiers appeared to be very beautiful and quiet. It is said to be a university town. Nothing like what we were headed for in Paris.
Sorry for the bit of backtrack but I also wanted to include the smaller cities and not just focus on the big well-known places. Afterall, getting the full experience is what makes traveling exciting.