What can you write about the place that is on every person’s travel list and one of THE places of the world? One that is the so known that every child, on being asked about where they want to go, would always answer with Paris (at least that’s what I did). My escapade with Paris was somewhat confusing. For you see, I had very conflicting thoughts every single day of my stay there.
As a rule, the first thing you do in Paris is go see Eiffel Tower. I was so excited; I would finally be able to see the thing that is considered a symbol of love. My first thought, however, upon seeing it was quite the opposite. Was this all? Was I supposed to feel happy by looking at a giant iron structure? I stood there, clicked a few pictures but all with a little disappointment. You see, it was four in the evening and the tower wasn’t lit. Standing in the line for two hours to go the tower’s top, the cynic in me had accepted the fact that maybe it’s just one of those things that you are told to admire but the reality is different.
I have been proven wrong many times in my life but being wrong never gave me this much happiness. The view at the top is breathtaking. The whole tower sparkles, with special lighting every hour. Standing there amongst the strong blowing cold winds, you can see the dazzling capital of France, with ships sailing on the river Seine at a leisurely pace. Mounting down, I find myself moving farther away to every street and getting excited by being able to see Eiffel Tower from there too!
The next day began with a trip to Chateau de Versailles. It would be futile to even try to put into words the daunting beauty of this place! It is a city in itself where a person can easily spend two days and still not feel satiated. Sprawling “gardens” (if you can even call them that), farms with sheep, horse stables, acres filled with houses of the architects that once lived here, an internal dam- these are just some of the things you might see here. Unfortunately, we were on a tight schedule and had only 7-8 hours to spend, by the end of which we got lost in its huge estate.
Trying to make the most of what Paris has to offer, we went straight from the lushness of Versailles to the dingy tunnels of the Catacombs filled with six billion bones. It is natural to be a little spooked by lines and lines of skulls stacked one on top of the other. It is a surreal feeling, knowing that beneath the beautiful houses lining the streets, human bones lie, reduced to being a tourist spot now.
By now, Paris had started playing its trick on me. I had finally started realizing that once you start liking this place, there is no turning back.
On our last day here, we had two options:
- Either visit the much renowned Madame du louvre and see THE MONA LISA.
- Or go explore the real Paris, the one that dwells within its myriad streets and experience its many treasures
Since my brother and I are not much of art admirers, we went for option (ii). This by far turned out to be the best day of my entire trip and one of the best in what little time I have lived; one that I won’t let myself forget and moreover one, that won’t let me forget itself. There was a magic in the air that day that gratified my soul. When you are walking on a bridge while the water beneath quietly flows and a cool breeze ruffles your hair and suddenly you hear an artist playing “La Vie en rose” while a mother sits on a bench with her child frolicking around, you know it’s a special moment.
Upon my departure for Paris, a friend wished that I find the love of my life in the city of Paris. I did end up falling in love; not with a person but with the place. Even when writing this, my heart longs to go back to the alluring beauty of Paris. I will come back to you once again Paris. Thanks for being magical and making my 22nd the best birthday of my life.