My Second Date with Paris
It was the perfect prologue to the Camino de Santiago and to the start of the great adventure that is solo travel; less than 24 hours in Paris. My mom and I spent four days in The City of Lights just over a year before, but I never imagined I would be back so soon. Paris flirted with me then, and this time I flirted back.
With the usual rounds already checked off my list, I was able to slow my pace and just feel the heartbeat of the city I already loved.
I give you, my afternoon in Paris.
My hotel near the train station, Gare Montparnasse, was only a short walk from the Luxembourg Garden. I had to peel myself away from the fountain, where immaculately dressed Parisian children raced toy sailboats.
Hardly tired of the gardens, I walked up the street to the Panthéon and detoured into the church of Sainte-Etienne-du-Mont, enticed by the wedding car parked on the cobblestone street in front.
Now in the Latin Quarter, I meandered towards Saint Germain, where my mom and I stayed the last time. I soon found the café where a particular server had taken to my mother and I. I had to peer through the pastries to see if it were him or not, but when we locked eyes, he beamed with joy, ushered me in and presented me with a chocolate crepe.
From there, I was just a stone’s throw away from Notre Dame. I passed over the bridge where lovers attach locks and throw away the keys. Click here to read how Parisians view this love ritual.
At Notre Dame, I unknowingly I stood in the wrong line to go to the top for a classic view of the city. When I realized my error, it was closed for the day. My third date perhaps…
I allowed the Seine to carry me along the remainder of the day. For a perfect half-hour, in complete happiness, I soaked my toes in the pool in front of the Musée du Louvre as I watched a bride taking wedding photographs. Clearly I joined in.
I continued along the Seine, dipped in Midas’ touch towards the Eiffel Tower, browsing at the timeless bookstands, postcard images of Paris themselves. The anticipation of inching towards Paris’s crown and glory from afar is by far my favorite part.
After a late lunch, I hurried up to Palais de Chaillot for that picturesque view of the Eiffel Tower.
Night fell on the city as I boarded the Bateaux Mouches for a cruise down the Seine. I drank French wine out of a plastic cup surrounded by tourists living out their travel dreams beside a sparkling Eiffel Tower.