I love Paris anytime.
But it was in the fall when we visited.
We had a beautiful 10 days to explore the city and drink in the ambience. The four of us shared an apartment on the Left Bank, literally a 10 minute walk to the Eiffel Tower.
I think it might be difficult to not like Paris but then we are city folks and love architecture, public art, and seeing the sites via public transportation. A cellphone and Citymapper app were all we needed to negotiate on our own.
Since our trip, Paris has had hard times. The yellow vest protests and the Notre Dame fire have taken their toll. Ironically, the one painting I had done before the trip was of the beautiful Notre Dame Rose Window which miraculously survived the fire.
One of my favorite moments of the trip had nothing to do with Paris but everything about modern living.
I was standing in line at the Louvre gift shop (we collect art-related refrigerator magnets – don’t judge) when my husband walked over to hand me another purchase. He commented on the magnet I had found. The Indian couple in front of me turned and saw it and asked where I had found it.
We chatted and they asked where I was from. “The States,” I replied. “Yes, but which one?” When I told them North Carolina, they lit up and asked which city. “Raleigh,” elicited on even larger pair of smiles. Their son goes to Duke University in Durham, approximately 26 miles from my home.
So there we were, all far from home but sharing a connection of family and community. And that is why travel is so necessary for understanding the world. Because a proud parent from halfway around the world is still a proud parent, not some foreigner one can’t understand.
I look back fondly on our visit and hope for the best of outcomes for Paris and all French citizens.
And I also hope for a better universal understanding that people are people, no matter they are from and where you are.