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April 26th, 2020
I had the perfect first day in the city of love until it was time to catch a train out of the city. It was rush hour on a weekday – if you live in Europe, you can picture the chaos.
We hurried with the crowd to make it on before the automated doors slam closed. Completely unfamiliar with the route and slow to navigate when everything’s French, I approached a stranger next to me to make sure we’re on the right train – not the one that goes the opposite direction! Obviously distracted. A moment later I wanted to take out my phone (which was IN my hand INSIDE my pocket), but it was gone! I was dumbstruck.
My friend did an amazing job at trying to comfort me, but I was tossing and turning all night. I purchased that phone two weeks before and it had all the pictures of our day in Paris. Without having any photos to look at, I started going over my memory of that day…
Bright and early, we took a train to the stop right next to Cathédrale Notre-Dame. Sadly still under construction after last years fire, we managed to get a few good shots as we crossed the canal. There were some cute souvenir shops where I got a fridge magnet and my friend got a French hat. Tourists!
On our way to The Louvre we walked down a beautiful street covered in autumn coloured (maple?) leaves – artist stalls on one side and quirky little shops with unpronounceable names on the other. We stopped to grab a coffee because our hands and cheeks were freezing, despite the romance of classic Paris architecture warming our hearts.
Next up was the Eiffel Tower. But first: Crêpes! I remember how I was casually chewing on my crêpe when my gaze met the tower for the first time and I thought: This is it, I really am in Paris!
At first glance, The Eiffel Tower didn’t seem that big. We crossed another canal and walked up to a view point to see it towering out above the city. This part of Paris isn’t packed with skyscrapers, so seeing Eiffel from afar you realize that, compared to its surroundings, it actually is rather large.
We ended our day with dinner at one of the restaurants in the area – I will definitely recommend going further away from tourist spots if you want good food! Anyway, I couldn’t care too much about food when my stomach was full of butterflies.
As we walked to the train station, I turned around to catch one last glimpse of the tower, just to see that it was fully lit up, and I felt like a kid on Christmas Eve.
Then some sneaky little thief snagged my phone and just like that I had no evidence that that day ever happened! Thankfully a handful of pictures survived, as seen in this post, all taken by my friend.
At first I was upset because the city of love didn’t show me any. Instead, it showed me its bad side. But then I realized that a place so timelessly elegant has no bad sides, only people do.
Before my next visit, I made peace with Paris. Over la baguettes at brunch, with my phone tucked away where no one could grab it, I fell in love with Paris all over again.
If you enjoy reading my blog you may like to know about a fellow blogger Sam who is running a series on his blog, One Chance to See the World, on how the pandemic is affecting work/travel of bloggers worldwide.
I am thrilled to be featured in a Guest post: Layovers in Lockdown. Go have a look and follow him for more bloggers’ insights – it sure is nice to be part of the WordPress community in these interesting times.
One Chance to See the World: https://onechancetoseetheworld.com/