22 November 2011

Paris, At Last

Ah, Paris! There's no place like it. There's a certain magic, a certain je ne sais quoi, in the air. It's intoxicating and addicting - like you could never get enough of this city. This was my second time in Paris, and it instantly felt like home - or maybe even like it was going to kidnap me and hold me hostage (maybe that was wishful thinking though...) Being submerged in "Le Parisien" lifestyle is fascinating - the sounds, the smells and the sights. You never want to close your eyes when you are here, fearing you might miss something. The cafes with their outdoor seating, the tree-lined boulevards and the distinctly Parisian architecture are some of the things that captivate me and I never wanted to leave Paris and her charm.

In 2008, Paris was all decked out with stars and many of the landmarks were lit blue
at night to kick off France's six-month presidency of the European Union

The roof of Hotel des Invalides - where Napoleon's tomb is located

Statue on my favorite bridge - Pont Alexandre III

Perhaps one of the oddest sensations in all the cities I've revisited, occurred when I revisited the Notre Dame in Paris. This was the first major cathedral I had visited (in 2004), and having gone back four years later - now having visited numerous grand cathedrals, including countless churches in Florence - I felt a little reminiscent. I almost felt like I had come full circle - back to this first major cathedral - I had changed a lot in four years and my experience of Notre Dame was completely different than it was four years earlier, as a 17-year old. This time it was quite a spiritual experience - and an emotional one as well. Maybe it was also due to the fact that the trip was coming to a close, and having just graduated college - the whole world was in front of me, possibilities endless. It was a poignant moment to find myself here once again, at the start of a new phase of my life.

Notre Dame of Paris

I loved how the window was open, almost as if he were escaping

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