My great-aunt Felicia loved traveling. She and my great-uncle were diplomats who traveled the world over for work and leisure.
When we were kids, she used to say that every adult, at least once in their life had to visit these two places: Paris & Gbadolite, Zaire (now Democratic Republic of Congo).
She said “go to Paris to be inspired and Gbadolite to learn the importance of being humble”.
I went to Paris bearing this in mind, prepared to be inspired.
Inspiration hit me the minute I landed at Roissy because everyone seemed so happy to be there.
Of course, they were in Paris!
Paris is a magical, mystical, and romantic place with extraordinary architecture, culture and history.
We started out at the Arc de Triomphe, it was still early in the morning and the city had just awoken.
Tourists started gathering, shops and cafÃ©s were opening and the locals were getting to work.
We walked under chestnut trees on Champs-Ã‰lysÃ©es, browsed luxury shops and people-watched from one of the many outdoor cafÃ©s.
We had lunch on our way at a small brasserie on Rue du Bac, I had a simple vegetarian salad which turned out to be one of the best salad’s I’ve ever had!
We browsed little stalls and bookstore by the way and imagined living in Paris.
My being in Paris also confirmed that I can’t speak French, which came as a bit surprise to me.
I’d always assumed that I spoke a little bit of French, I listen to French radio and sometimes would discover something of interest on a French channel – it turns out I understand a bit of French but I really suck at speaking it.
But that was ok because I had a real French person to do all my speaking for me, and I managed fine when I was alone.
We walked everywhere the entire time and it was amazing! Yet another reason why I should move to Paris.
We spent time at the Louvre, which was awesome.
There were literally thousands of people there and the line to enter was unbelievably long.
I fell in the love with the fountains and sculptures.
We spent quite a bit of time at Place de la Concorde taking pictures of the amazing fountains, sculptures and Obelisk.
We ended up back at the Arc de Triomphe.
We had just enough time for a little bit of browsing and shopping on Boulevard Haussmann.
We got hungry and settled for a quick dinner at the Publicis Drugstore Bar – a very cool place to sit and people watch.
I got macarons from Pierre HermÃ© to go; they are so good, I’d go back for Paris again in a heartbeat just for those macarons.
All too soon our time was up and we headed back away from the city.
It was indeed an inspiring trip.