My first trip to Paris, the bus (Les Cars) from Roissy dropped us off at the Arc de Triomphe, the Champs-Élysées stretched before us in all its tree-lined splendour, and I couldn’t think of a more magnificent introduction to the city.
We walked down the grand avenue that morning towards the Obelisk and fountains at the Place de la Concorde, weaving in and out of stores and stopping for crepes on the way.
At the Tuileries, we meandered through meticulously landscaped gardens with ponds and sculptures, struck by their incomparable beauty.
For lunch, we found a corner café with seating overlooking the Seine and the Louvre; here, my friend N suggested that we should come back the next year, for more than a day this time, he said; so that we could do all the things we’d just realized we couldn’t quite possibly fit into a day trip.
We walked so much that day my feet hurt, I ended up having to buy comfier flats on Rue Rivoli.
We flew back to London feeling utterly exhausted but excited with a promise of going back the next year and perhaps staying longer… And thus began our yearly pilgrimage to Paris.
I don’t know when I’ll tire of the wonderful feeling of strolling along an unfamiliar street taking in the sights, culture and history, but I can’t seem to run out of exciting places to discover.
We did the Louvre’s Denon Wing (where the Mona Lisa lives) a few years back, deciding to tackle the other wings on separate visits, we haven’t been able to make it back so it remains on our ever-growing bucket-list.
One year we spent an afternoon traversing Père Lachaise Cemetery discovering famous tombs and roaming cobble-stoned streets like we were in a small city. It was here that I was spurred read Colette, and heard of the great romance of Heloise and Aberland. A few years later on a quiet narrow street not too far from Notre-Dame, we found the house of Heloise and Aberland.
And this is how the city endears itself to me, every year I collect something new; a memorable insight, a discovery, an experience and I am changed a little.
These photos are from wandering the city, a postcard (of sorts) collection of some of my favourite places in the city.