I have fallen in Love!

Notre Dame from the banks of the Seine at night

I have fallen in love. My new mistress is Paris.

I first visited Paris, the City of Light, in October 2014, prior to the Charlie Hebdo atrocities. I found Paris to be magical, beautiful & embracing. Conjuring up so many thoughts, feelings & emotions that I did not think I could feel. My head had been turned. I had fallen in love.

Paris is a city that embraces you in so many ways, you should allow it to, in turn you should reciprocate this and a whole new experience will ensue.

I found so many wonderful clichés while exploring the city.

Close to the Sacre Coeur a female street entertainer was playing Edith Piafs “Padam Padam” on the an accordion. I should explain, I am a Piaf fan. For me Piaf conjured up the essence of Paris, decades before I was fortunate enough to visit. I felt so lucky to experience this street entertainer performing this in Montmatre an area so synonymous with Piaf.

living the Parisienne lifestyle on the banks of the Seine

While strolling along the banks of the Seine in the Notre Dame district close to midnight, there were scores of young couples and groups sat on the wall overlooking the river, they had wine, they had food, picnics, cigarettes, they were living the Parisienne lifestyle. They were doing it in an inimitable style that you wouldn’t experience in London or New York.

Walking through the Champ de Mars at dusk, close to the Eiffel Tower, young lovers sit and drink wine out in the open air while street vendors peddle bottles of champagne and glasses to drink from and of course the obligatory red roses.

I could go on and on with the Paris clichés. The sidewalk cafes, the street artists the huddles of old men & students alike sat outside café bars drinking a beer or coffee drawing firmly on a Gauloises and conversing in their mother tongue on the meaning of life perhaps.

Paris oozes culture from every pore with museums bursting at the seams with the worlds greatest works of art. Breathtaking architecture around every corner all with it’s distinct French flavour of design.

Sadly, the City of Light experienced terrorist attacks in 2015. During my last visit mid way through 2016, the city had changed, the atmosphere was a little more subdued, but, the Parisians are stoic people. They work hard at making the city safe without eroding it’s beauty and interest. I will continue to go back and explore and won’t be put off by the fear of terrorist attacks, these after all could happen anywhere in the world at any time, we cannot hide away in fear. The odds of being caught up are possibly greater than that of winning the lottery.

Paris is captivating, exciting, relaxing & exhilarating all at the same time and I have fallen in love with Paris.