Like most people, Paris was my dream destination. However when I was planning to take a year-long vacation, I crossed Paris out of my travel plans. Paris is way too expensive for a backpacker’s budget and its reputation as the city of love and romance did not really made it ideal for my solo travels.
But, as they say, “We don’t take a trip. A trip takes us.” I found myself in the city of amor after an airlines company came up with an exciting introductory offer. With no knowledge of French language, I experienced the inhospitable side of Paris on the first day. It took me four hours to reach my hostel from the train station for a distance that could be covered in 10 minutes. Reason – hostel name was listed in The English language on the site. Stopping passersby did not help much for most gestured that they don’t speak English. And when I finally reached the hostel, the hostel manager did not speak English which made the matters worse. That night a fellow traveler facing the same issues told me about the rules for protection and promotion of French language.
I was disappointed. Promoting and imposing are too different things. My journal of that day reads, “Does Paris really deserve the title of the City of Love when it is so closed to the idea of other languages and culture. Isn’t love all – encompassing? Isn’t love about accepting, evolving and growing together?”
So you know now that my first impressions of the city were not very good. Things changed when I finally started exploring the city. I quickly got fascinated by the beauty and art of the city.
Paris was like an architectural eye candy. Just by looking at the buildings, one can witness the eras and art movements from Classicism to Rococo to Romanticism to Art Nouveau to New Realism. Thanks to the Free Walking Tour I took in the city, I know better about these art forms now.
I visited a couple of museums and architectural marvels such as Louvre, Musée Picasso, Arc de Triomphe, walked around Champs-Elysées and indulged in French delicacies.
I loved walking around Paris at night for everything looks so beautiful under the gleaming street lamps. How I wished for a “Midnight at Paris” encounter – that a car will stop by and transport me in the times of Picasso, Fitzgerald and Dalí.
I spent eight days in Paris walking around illuminated bridges crossing the River Seine, hopping around picturesque patisseries and cafes, marveling at cultural and historic wonders, and gaping at oh so lovely Eiffel Tower all aglow every night – I could not stop myself from falling in love with Paris.
To see couples walking hand in hand, swearing love to each other, lovers putting love locks wishing for forever love – I could feel the love in the air. Paris is a city which makes one wants to be in love. It makes one want to find a little corner on those countless bridges on The Seine and talk away the night under the gleams of wonderful lights. It makes one want to sit with a lover looking at the gleaming Eiffel Tower and feel how wonderful this world is. And it is these emotions that one experiences in Paris that makes the city haven for lovers and a perfect setting for a budding romance.
If you have found the one for you, head for a few days in Paris – the city will surely not disappoint. And if you haven’t found the ‘one’, still travel to Paris because to experience Paris is to experience the joy of beauty, and art, and love, and lights.