I have always been a dreamer, and today all I can dream of is Paris.
My only visit was with Neil the weekend before we moved into our first house. Or rather I helped Neil move into his first house and never left.
A minor detail.
We stayed at a tiny hotel in a windy back street of the 15th arr. district. It was a really hot summer and I remember being really excited that we could see just see the Eiffel Tower from our bedroom window if we stood on tip toes, albeit rather obscured by the heat haze.
We of course journeyed to the summit of the ‘Tour de Eiffel’, took a boat trip along the Seine, saw a portrait of a lady smiling at the Louvre, took in the sights of the Champs Elysee, raised eyebrows at the Moulin Rouge, got lost in the Trocadero and had some very cheesy caricatures drawn of us that thankfully never made it near a frame.
My most favourite memory of Paris however was the night of the ‘Festival de la Bastille’. We had caught the Metro to visit the Sacre Coeur which although was closed, gave us the most spectacular view of the city at dusk. We ate at a street cafe, and I don’t even remember how many carafes of the house wine were brought to the table, but enough that I later spent my last few Euro on a tacky keyring that played the French National Anthem.
When the stars appeared we followed mysterious crowds that swept us towards the centre of Paris. We then sat with thousands of people in the middle of a street, tucking into what can only be described as a ‘custard slab’ sourced from a divinely fragrant patisserie which was as oozey as it was delicious. We were to this point however still quite unaware of occasion we appeared to be participating in, and so were somewhat spellbound when all of a sudden it emerged we were here to view the spectacle of a glittering Eiffel Tower forming the centrepiece of a booming firework display set to rousing tunes, so loud, you felt every beat. It was wonderful evening, just perfect, and I loved every minute.
I long to go to Paris again and visit the places we weren’t able to fit in to our first trip – Notre Dame, Versailles, the flea markets, the Artisan’s Quarter, the interior of the Sacre Coeur! But also a little bit of me is afraid that going again might spoil the romance of my first encounter.
So for now I will merely dream of Paris. I might get another custard slab though.