despite all our traveling, we’re not good tourists, we never have been. for years we’ve avoided the stereotypical holiday destinations, with their promise of charm and delight. places with impossibly high expectations, and therefore, likely to disappoint. paris was one of these places that we kept putting aside for someday… eventually. we’ll always have paris, afterall.
the paris in my head was a strange mélange of the deliciousness portrayed in david leibovitz‘s blog and the 60s of zazie dans le métro (we spent our time there in exclamations of “le panthéon! les invalides! le tombeau véritable du vrai napoléon!”)
it was the paris of my father’s stories, complete with escargots and metro rides. a paris accumulated over years studying french language, geography and literature in anticipation of this moment when i finally got to use all this knowledge i amassed during my teenage years.
so how was paris?
like the stories, it was lovely. we walked around the city, elbowing other tourists, musing at the buildings and the architecture, stumbling on familiar looking sites, eating all the promised delicacies (which i’ll tell you all about in another post). i feel like we’ve cleaned out the list of essential must-do’s and clichés, preempting the predictable exclamations of “you’ve been to paris and didn’t go to _______?!”
so yes, we climbed the eiffel tower, saw notre dame, le sacré coeur, le louvre, le moulin rouge, l’arc du triomphe… we walked along the seine and the champs élysées and even visited amélie’ poulain’s little café and a couple of famous cemiteries. we walked over 40km in 4 days, in a permanent mix-state of dejá vue, awe and giddy delight. like promised, paris was beautiful, crowded and expensive.
i feel like now that we got all of this out of the way, we can start preparing a second visit, one in which we actually get to see the city beyond the pretty façades. :) à bientôt, paris!