Lucky are those who can visit the places of their dreams with loved ones and also fall in love with the place itself, forgetting what you came there for. To spend quality time with your loved one and see the world with him or to lose yourself completely in the madness of the city and leave the place confused thinking what you loved more, the city or the time with your love. Soft spot for romance will always remain in Paris, it is such a mesmerizing and lively city. A lot of hype and pomp exists, but once in life Eiffel Tower has to give you that needed high. Paris was planned three weeks in advance as the time for Kris to come and visit came closer. We both were excited to visit this place , the romantic city, the city of love, wanted to visit with my love. My second visit to Paris, as Disneyland was already covered before due to the bodily excitement that I could not avoid, and the shameless kid inside that kept screaming, if not now when will you visit Disneyland, so one more child Praveen accompanied me to the children world of Disneyland and the elegant and sassy part to be done was left untouched in the hope that the next affair with this city will be a fierce and passionate one.
We reached Paris with the TGV, one of the fastest trains in Europe, it was one heck of a speed and no noise inside the train, like slouchy couch potatoes we slept throughout our journey from Stuttgart to Paris as the early morning alarm had disrupted the peaceful slumber of the night and despite of being sleep deprived, the moment I reached Paris, I could not help but be surprised and delighted at the welcoming air of the city. Old, grand and petite buildings made way through the cosmopolitan town and the grandeur shone bright in the light of the day. Traditional apartments in the center of the city were mushrooming from each side. Paris is costly, but lively and happening. The metros ran impeccably along the whole city, every 200 metres, and travelling across the city became like a task on the finger tip. Waiting time was reduced and as if we had broken free from the shackles of the prison and wanted to forge ahead, we got going with our maps, shopping and trail along the river, to discover the culture, art and history of Paris.
The best thing about travelling to Paris with your sweetheart is that you’re not limited to the same cluttered “romantic experience” as everyone else. Sure, this cosmopolitan city has world-class art galleries, antique markets, theatre, opera, fashion houses, live music, dance, wine tasting and cooking classes. But did you know you can also get lost without Google maps in Paris and still have fun, you can get awed at the first view of the Eiffel tower and scream to your hearts content for you got to see the whole five minutes light show, you can be the first one to reach Eiffel tower in the morning and dance along the street that leads to Eiffel Tower because nobody is watching (actually), you can become a part of the gambling experiment and also earn 100 euros as you made the correct guess, you can kiss along the bridges of the Seine and still be looking into your lovers eyes because love is truly in air when your loved one has eyes only for you, you can have a sexy getaway with your love and yet be crazy enough to take up adventures on the street, you can get soaked in fashion and believe that the Ilahi dream from Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani came true in front of your eyes, you can have the most amazing photo shoot on a cruise and still love the chilly wind and cold because that warm hug from your love makes you go weak in your knees, the light breeze brushing against our cheeks and the sparks that flew with infinite affection into the flowing river, well, being able to satisfy almost any desire is what really makes Paris the most romantic city in the world.
One of things we loved most about Paris is that despite its many grandiose monuments, it remains a humble city perfect for exploring on foot. Forget about maps, itineraries, and couples’ quarrels over whether to ask someone for directions. Anyone who strolls aimlessly knows that the best way to find the hidden surprises is to simply heed your whims, following any charming cobblestone street or pedestrian passage that tickles your fancy. The scent of freshly baked bread leads you to a bakery filled with cookies, croissants and pastries. Art and passion for art are two things that you can never underestimate in Paris, each little street and alley, each meandering way along the river Seine, each bridge that connected one road to another, each untold shop where souvenirs were placed like valuable pieces of art spoke of how rich and proud Paris was of its heritage. Shopping at these shops became a pastime activity, even merely observing the sketches took us into this world of unmatched talent and creativity that is hard to express on paper, but Paris had dearths of it to its credit. From romantic lovers who painted their muses, to connoisseurs of buildings and architecture that recreated magic with their knowledge and observation skills, art was a way of life here, open and carefree, with no restrictions, that is how love should be, and that made way for the city of love.
If you haven’t guessed it yet, Parisians have a soft spot for romance. They may be discreet about many things, but not when it comes to showing off their passionate side. Unlike most cities of the world where blatant PDA (public displays of affection) is chastised, in Paris holding hands as you walk, cuddling on park benches, and even shamelessly locking lips is not only accepted, but openly admired. There’s even a popular guide book to the best spots for kissing in Paris and I loved being #befikre in this part of the city.
As we were finishing our tour around the Louvre Museum we also came across a band that played on the streets with such enthusiasm and unparalleled love for music. Street music has become one of my favourite genres of music now.While I enjoyed the beats and tuned into them, Kris got busy capturing images and moments of the band. We discovered and saw the whole city on foot and metro. It was sheer joy. The Louvre Museum, The Notre Dame Cathedral of Paris, The Grand Palais of Paris, The Embassy and Government Buildings, the Eiffel Tower of course and the whole fair area around it, the coffee shops of Paris, the Montmarte Artist Corner, the cruise along the River Seine, the shopping arcade at the bridges of the Seine, the Opera de Paris, the Arc de Troimphe ( which I call the India Gate of Paris ) are some of the sightseeing pleasures around. Notre Dame, Eiffel Tower and the Montmarte Cathedral steal the show. Eiffel Tower because of popularity and the structure in itself, considered to be the most light weight monument on this planet and yet stands tall even after more than 150 years, seeing Eiffel Tower at any time of the day makes you awestruck. Notre Dame for serenity and to appreciate the architectural talent that came along with it. Montmarte for the song Ilahi and the view of Paris ( the whole of it from far away). You get into a serene and calm mode on top of this cathedral where you just feel that time should stop and you can hug Paris in its fullest glory. The Arc de Troimphe is a shining example and memory to laud the victories of Napolean Bonaparte during his conquests. The Louvre Museum is home to some of the finest art work in the world. Home to thousands of classic and modern masterpieces including the world famous Monalisa painting, as well as other artworks of Da Vinci and Picasso considered to be the jewel in the crown of French culture.
Once and for all I loved the free flowing, bohemian lifestyle of Paris. This is the place where you do not feel like compromising on anything and just living for love, innocently and truly. You forget boundaries, you forget that the world has business and you have to go back and make money. Paris enamoured me with all its beauty, I sunk in, believing that a dreamy world existed on planet Earth. Night life was of course filled with vices too, but its your choice whether you fall prey to them or no. My love for Paris reached its epitome on this trip. Will always cherish it. In the end I left the city wondering whether I fell in love with Paris or Kris again! :)
For a next one with renewed travel energy.
Rucha Sudhir Khot