My love for Paris was not initial or immediate. To say that we got off to a bad start is an understatement and for years I could never understand why people were so enthralled with a city that in my opinion, was a bit of a show-off with not much substance. I was 15 and visited Paris with my school for a long weekend. We stayed in a hostel on the outskirts of the city; which seriously lacked any personality, and quite frankly it was the weekend from hell. The metro was on strike so the city was gridlocked, it rained for the entire time, a member of our party had an allergic reaction to fish and while searching for a hospital on foot, ended up accidentally in the red light district. Safe to say that Paris and I called it quits after that fling and went our seperate ways.
Fast forward 7 years and my disdain for Paris had settled to an indifference; you know if we saw eachother in the street we’d probably say hey, and then awkwardly walk in opposite directions.
Matt’s 21st birthday was on the horizon and I wanted to do something amazing for him, and while looking for trips away I kept coming back to Paris; it wouldn’t leave me alone and before I knew it I’d booked for us to go.
And I’m so bloody glad I did. Our hotel was clean and right near both the metro and la Gare du Nord and we crammed in more than I ever thought possible. We climbed the Eiffel Tower, got a river cruise down the Seine, visited the cutest coffee shop and THE BEST icecream place you could imagine, saw the Louvre and Notre Dame, ate sooo much French onion soup, climbed the Arch de Triomphe at night to watch the Eiffel Tower light up, had dinner in a beautiful French bistro and visited the Palace of Versailles.
I completely and utterly fell in love; saw the light and finally understood how this city has stolen so many people’s hearts. The history, the landmarks, the gorgeous architecture; I was absolutely and unequivocally wrong about France’s capital. It’s a lesson to anyone that first impressions aren’t always accurate; on this occasion mine were so so out of field that I can’t even.