I have avoided writing this post for about two weeks now because I felt like it was going to take a long time to write, and I can never quite explain it all: everything I saw, everything I felt about everything I saw. At first, I thought that was the only way I would be able to possibly convey how splendidly wonderful this trip was. Luckily for both of us, I’m not going to do that.
Here’s what I will say: I didn’t expect to love Paris. I’ve always been drawn to smaller cities that feel more authentic (see: Granada), and find that capitals tend to be cool in their own right but not always worth the trip for anything more than a check-mark on your not-to-miss list. Don’t get me wrong, I was extremely excited but also thought it would be great to see more of France in the weekend than just Paris (spoiler: this thinking changed…quickly).
Here’s what happened: I LOVED Paris. It was freezing and rained for a good portion of our trip, yet even when my socks were wet and my knees ached from the cold, I can’t remember a single moment where I wasn’t having an indescribably good time. There are very few things in life that I find less charming than 45 degree rain; Paris simply sparkled even more.
We did a good job of getting to most of the must-sees while there, and somehow not a single one of them was over-rated. I cried when I saw the Eiffel Tower, I cried in Notre Dame, I couldn’t stop staring at the Mona Lisa, and the history and grandeur of Versailles made me giggle like a school girl. I was simply blown away by every single thing I encountered. From the moment we stumbled off of the subway in the city centre until we dragged our feet to the bus station, every corner I turned held a gasp, an “oh!” or “what’s that?!” Every day the beauty and the history swept through me – Paris reached right out and plucked my heart in a swift, graceful movement…with a smile.
Abi and I actually stayed with a Romanian couple who had moved to Paris about four years ago. Our first night there, after about two hours of a whirlwind walk along the Seine, we asked the question “what made you move?” A few moments of silence passed until all four of us chimed in… “well, Paris.”
It didn’t take long to get, and oh boy did I get it. I will be going back. As the painting in our room read, “Paris is always a good idea”
An afternoon at Versailles
The city that sparkles
We got to light candles in Notre Dame
Another beautiful moment in Notre Dame
The Rodin Museum
The D’Orsay Museum
Last visit to the Tower
Thanks to Abi for this beautiful view from the Montmartre district