Paris. Just breathe the word and people’s eyes light up, their hands move to their chests, and they exclaim, ‘Oh, Paris!’, usually followed by a story about the time they went, or about how they’ve always wanted to go, or about someone they know who went and got engaged and oh…isn’t it just so romantic?! I don’t actually know why everyone thinks Paris is so romantic, compared to other cities…but in the popular imagination it is a place of beauty and romance and wonder and I have spent years longing to go and see the place I have heard about, read about and seen depicted on the silver screen in such glowing, rose tinted terms.
Despite my naturally cynical nature, I am a bit of an old romantic, and the reason I have never stirred myself to go to Paris as yet is that I have been holding out to be taken for the first time by the love of my life. I imagined scenes of midnight strolls along the Seine, watching the stars twinkle from the top of the Eiffel Tower, and drinking huge bowls of chocolat chaud in cosy cafes along the Champs Elysees, staring into one another’s eyes. As my life is not a chick flick, this obviously hasn’t happened, and frankly, I’m tired of waiting for a boy to show up – I just want to go to bloody Paris, romantic strolls or no. I was saying this to my friend over dinner a couple of weeks ago, and as I was saying it, I saw her eyes light up. She has never been to Paris, either, and the solution dawned on us both at the same time – why not just go together?! Therefore we are packing our bags and heading off on the Eurostar next month for three days of exploring the streets of Montmartre and the Rive Gauche, shopping in flea markets, eating our weight in croissants and watching the world go by from pavement cafes. I absolutely can’t wait!
However, I am completely clueless beyond the obvious sights and could do with your suggestions as to good places to go. I’m particularly interested in restaurant and cafe recommendations, as well as sights that are a bit off the beaten path. We’ll only have three days – I’m hoping to get to Versailles but I’m not sure if we’ll have time – but we’re both pretty intrepid and we want to see as much as is humanly possible. So please, send in your must-dos in Paris! I will be forever indebted to you!