My first visit to Paris was a spontaneous day trip from London; I took the Air France bus from Roissy and got off at the Arc de Triomphe without a map, guide, plan or agenda, I had no idea where I was going.
I walked as far as my feet could carry me, taking few breaks in between – it was exciting and freeing, unlike anything I’d done before.
I spent hours strolling and window-shopping along the Champs-Élysées, explored the Grand and Petit Palais, walked along the Seine and discovered the Louvre.
I walked and walked, crossing awe-inspiring bridges, found beautiful historic monuments and fountains, and grandiose palaces and mansions.
The one thing I wanted to do was see the city from the top of the Arc de Triomphe.
By the time I made my way back, I was exhausted and out of time, “next time” I said.
It did take a while, but I climbed up to the top of the Arc de Triomphe… all 284 steps, took in the city, and remembered that very first time in Paris…