Bonjour! As a few people I know are preparing to head to one of my favourite destinations, Paris, this spring, I am reminded of my own adventure a few years back. I embarked on a Scenic Tours river cruise from Nuremberg Germany through the rivers of Europe, tasting wines and eating wonderful foods, enjoying the culture and architecture of the area. All the while my mind was on the “prize”.
I had been loving and dreaming Paris for over 50 years. Well to be fair as a baby I am not sure what I was dreaming about, however since I knew Paris, I wanted Paris. I did projects in elementary school, I read books and watched movies that centered around France. I attended French speaking classes in all my school years, right up to and including University. There is some inner voice of mine that speaks that language! In 1967 my family and I lived 11 months in Germany and the plan was to travel Europe, however we returned to Canada before I made it to France. I was in Montreal in 1976 for the Olympics, with the Canadian Armed Forces, and enjoyed the immersion in French Canadian culture. Still, however, the dream burned in me to go to Europe.
When I began my search for travel as an adult in the past ten years, I have had at the top of my bucket list a desire to travel France and spend time in Paris. So much so that I have collected a list of some ten items that I wanted to do when I finally got there. I had purchased travel books and a game on learning more and more about this vibrant, intriguing and historic world city.
My list included the “best” place to taste crème brulee; where to taste champagne infused sorbet; Pont Neuf bridge and all the bridges; Notre Dame Cathedral; walking cobblestone alley ways looking up at the small iron balcony laden with bright red flowers growing free; seeing if the sky really does turn pink in the evening as the sun sets; have a meal at the Eiffel Tower; see the place where Lady Diana is honoured by the Paris locals and tourists; shop along the Champs Elysees; sit at a small table outside a small cafe, with a bottle of wine and some tasty cheeses and watch people go by along the walk that follows the river; see the Louvre from the outside; sit at a park bench and listen to foreign languages; shop in a second hand or consignment store for designer fashions; shop for and or buy a hat.
I loved exploring Paris my whole life and was ready when the time came. I had a list of what I wanted to see and I made it my point to see them. Of course the Eiffel Tower, I took a little boat ride down the river to see all the bridges from the water. I walked and walked and walked, the river side, small alleys in beautiful districts, I took pictures and hung around the bridges .. I watched the sky turn pink at dusk. It really does! I found a tiny music box that plays La Vie En Rose … I love it and cherish it still. I sat at a tiny round table, drank wine and watched people. I shopped the little green boxes along the river bank. I had sorbet made from Champagne and I ate the most delightful authentic crème brulee, I went to Notre Dame Cathedral and stood in the magic spot. I saw the Louvre from outside and the Arch de Triomphe, I walked along Champs Elysees and only had a few short days. I found the place that honors Lady Diana who died in the tunnel, I shopped a bit but Paris is very expensive. I wore a hat and carefully selected scarf.
See what you can when you go to Paris, because then every movie you see and every book you read with Paris as a backdrop, you will feel you are back there. 🙂
Ask me anything you want about my trip – or check out my early blog, http://www.PamelaTravelBlog.com as I wrote about it as I explored.
Sounds wonderful, where do you find the second hand stores?
I actually just stumbled on a few in the city – tucked in little out of the way places. I found better prices in every city except Paris actually! Shoes were so inexpensive and beautiful in lots of other cities … but I did not really shop Paris, just looked 🙂 Nuremberg is actually a wonderful shopping city!