It may come as no surprise when I say everyone needs to go to Paris at least once in their lifetime but before I had travelled there – I never wanted to go.
I thought it was so cliche, overdone and well.. tacky.
“Let’s go to Paris!” People always say and all I could think was,
How silly I think that is now.
The only reason why I went there in the first place was because of how cheap the flight was flying into Paris would be. I wanted to go to Germany, Czech Republic, Austria and Hungary and Paris was the cheapest gateway flight for my adventure into Europe at that time. So I booked it. I would start out in Paris and then make my way down to Budapest where I would fly out of to go back home.
After I booked the ticket to Paris I started looking at places to stay and oddly found myself romanticizing how nice it actually might be there. But, again, I was no where near gushing over the idea of Paris. It was simply a cheap flight.
All that changed when I got to my apartment in the St. Germain area.
I was in love.
How beautiful the architecture was! Wandering around old Paris, walking along the Seine River, I was in awe. Everything was so lovely and old! The cobble stone walkways, the markets with flowers and fresh produce, the idolized windowsills with flowers flowing from them just like you see in the movies.. And it wasn’t only one building that was beautifully built, it was all of them. All around central Paris the buildings were exquisite, showing the time and thought that was put into the architecture. It was something to be admired. When old buildings went down, they weren’t rebuilt cheaply, they were built to replace the old in the same image.
It was so unlike North America. Where I live houses and apartments are all built the same, like cookie cutters, but here, they were built with elegance.
You get this sense of purpose. I will never forget one early morning I was having breakfast with my mother, a croissant and baguette of course, when I saw a man in sweat pants and grey shirt hurrying by (even in sweats he looked put together like a movie star) and moments later I watched as he came back the way he came with a small grocery bag and two baguettes under his arm.
He was getting fresh bread for breakfast.. I’m lucky if I have bread in the cupboard thats not moulded.
And everywhere you go, restaurant or cafe, you see people by themselves enjoying their own company, some sipping wine with a cigarette and some with coffee and a croissant with jam. It was so odd to me at first when I saw people sitting alone at restaurants eating lavish meals. You never see that where I live. It’s almost embarrassing here if you are seen eating by yourself but in Paris, and most of Europe for that matter, it didn’t make a difference if you were by yourself or with someone. You were enjoying you time. You had purpose.
And then there’s the food. You don’t even want to get me started on the food.. But since I’ve already started I might as well go on! While my poor smoothie loving tummy was bombarded with baguettes and bread and wine and cheese it was all worth it. Every pound. I did have trouble finding vegetarian food that wasn’t just pasta but the desserts.. those were all mine.
My mom said as soon as we got off the plane she wanted to try a croissant and I didn’t think much of it. What did I care about a croissant? Well, on our second last day when I actually ate a croissant with jam (you always get two jams when you order a croissant), I was in heaven. It was flaky and soft and complete bliss. I finally understood what the big deal was.
And then there was the macaroons.. how I miss them so much. They say Paris has the best macaroons in the world because Paris is at the perfect altitude to make them! How weird is that? I had no idea altitude had anything to do with baking but I guess it does. I even saw a place with two larger macaroons sandwiching some gelato.. I regret it to this day not getting one when I saw it. It’s now on my bucket list.
If this isn’t enough to sell you on Paris then hopefully this will.
You find yourself appreciating the beauty in everything. The sporadic weather, the decedent wine and the hundreds of amazing cheeses, the buildings and the markets. You appreciate the flower markets when you stroll by and find the beauty in getting dressed nicely for breakfast. You can look down any street, narrow or large, and see how lovely they are. And you see the beauty in history of how it all came to be. The Louvre, the Eiffel Tower, the Arc De Triumph, Notre Dome, Seine River.. I never wanted to go to any of the places before but now that I have been to them.. I can see just how beautiful Paris is.
There is a reason why Paris is so talked about and there is a reason that it’s referened in all those romance movies. Paris is a romantic city where you can find love and beauty in everything. Hell, on my second day there was a charming man on a bicycle asking my mom if he could marry me! (Sorry Aaron..) But even in that irrational and oddly flustered, unpredicted, moment I found the beauty. The beauty that life is a fairytale. You just have to believe in fairies.
There is even beauty in your steps and how you carry yourself – you just have to notice.
Paris taught me that.
For that alone is reason enough to go to Paris.
I hope this inspired you a little!
What are your thoughts on Paris? Do you think it’s as cliche as I thought it was? Or are you planning your romantic adventure there? And sorry about the bad quality of photos I didn’t have a proper camera.