Paris has fascinated masses for centuries and beckoning people of all walks of life. Part rebellious, part scandalous, a little bit naughty and always tremendously exciting. Always sophisticated and refined, never ordinary.
Paris in movies
It’s been the setting of many tales and home to various characters throughout different times. From Sabrina, Phantom of the Opera and Moulin Rouge to Ratatouille and The Da Vinci Code, the streets of Paris have played many different roles in popular culture.
For me, it was the book Three Musketeers (I definitely recommend this book and not just because it’s one of my faves!) that created a fascination with Paris. It is after all a place where many came to seek their fortunes, including young d’Artagnan who came here to join the illustrious Musketeers of the Guard. Cue in the intrigues, scandals and adventure, and I knew it was a place I had to get to before the book was even done.
I then studied history and the fascination with Paris continued. French history is fascinating, bloody and intricate, with Paris beating in the heart of it. Scandals of the French court, the French Revolution and the many luminaries that made their mark on this city. What’s not to love?
I arrived in Paris almost 20 years ago, eager to follow in the footsteps of Marie Antoinette, Napoleon, Voltaire and many others. The Louvre, the Eiffel Tower, the Notre Dame. It was all within reach. I spent a glorious three weeks in Paris, soaking up everything I could about it. I strolled the streets and bridges, visited the museums, churches and parks, with history coming alive all around me. (In case you haven’t noticed, I really, really like history :))
Many people come to Paris to shop, eat or to find themselves. I came for the history and incidentally found myself, even though I wasn’t looking. That was my first real trip that sparked my love for travel and made me fall in love with the City of Lights!
This summer, Alex and I finally went to Paris together. If you’ve read my Can travel memories live up to reality blog, you’d know that I was worried whether I would like Paris this time as much as I liked it the last time. I was also unsure if Alex would like it.
The truth is, I loved Paris just as much or even more (if that’s possible!) than the last time. As many other European cities with a long history, Paris hasn’t changed that much in 20 years. Some parts were familiar, almost like an old pair of very comfortable shoes not worn in a long time. Others were not and it felt like I was discovering them for the first time.
There were so many places I wanted to show Alex, but it’s really hard to cram three weeks worth of memories and experiences in three days. We did our best (i.e. there was a lot of walking) and managed to check out few places and enjoy the city just by being there. I wrote about our visits to the Louvre, the Père Lachaise Cemetery and the Pantheon, but there were so many other places we didn’t get to see.
Paris is one of those places that you can simply walk around to enjoy. There is a certain vibe there that makes it an exciting place to be. It’s no wonder so many have come here over the centuries, drawn by its allure. From poets, musicians and artists to scientists, philosophers and everything in between, Paris has seen it all.
I, however, have not seen enough of this place and I definitely plan on going back. Probably more than once.
Definitely more than once. 🙂
I know the question you are probably asking now is has Alex liked it? The answer is yes. When I asked him what he liked about it, he said that he liked that it was modern yet very old world at the same time. He liked different elements of it and in a very different way from me as Alex doesn’t necessarily share my penchant for history. We usually categorize places we visit by whether we would want to live there or not. Paris is definitely a place we both imagine ourselves living in. Now, whether we can afford it is another story all together, but a girl can dream.
Everyone has that special city they visited that made an impact. What’s yours?