Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Why I love Paris...

Ever since I read 'Les Miserables' in 2011 and visited Paris last year, I've been in love with France and everything French. It's my dream to one day become fluent in the French language, and perhaps even live there at some point. Since I love Paris so much, I was surprised to realise that I've never actually thought about why. So this is me doing that...

1) Of course, you couldn't talk about Paris without mentioning the landmarks. From the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triumph to the beautiful Sacre Coeur, there are enough steps in Paris to make your legs ache for the rest of you life, and give you blisters enough to make you never want to walk again. But the gift shops views when you reach the top of the millions of steps are so worth it you can't possibly regret the effort. Also, I've never liked the idea of lifts when you can just as well take the stairs, so given the choice between the two I would always choose the steps and make my family follow suit (much to their annoyance). So apparently part of the reason I love Paris is because of the stairs?? Well, actually now I think about it, there has always been something about old, worn away steps that makes me wonder just who has climbed that stone before me. And also, away from landmarks, French winding staircases are actually quite beautiful and they always have the effect of making me feel like I'm in some romantic film. (well I can dream can't I??) This point has turned into a bit of an odd one...

2) Moving on... the Luxembourg Gardens or Jardain de Luxembourg. Just. Wow. I think this might be my favourite place on earth, it's just so, so beautiful. In 'Les Miserables' this is the place where Marius first saw Cosette and where Cosette came to sit with Valjean every day. And who could blame them for wanting to just sit and chat for hours on end in such a gorgeous place. When I next go to Paris, which I hope is some time soon, I might have to reserve quite a large proportion of my time so I can just go and sit in the sun. Another thing that makes me love all of Paris' public gardens is the fact that they actually provide decent (clean!) metal chairs that you can move around to wherever you want, meaning you don't have to carry rubbishy camping chairs with you if you want to just go and have a quiet morning. Perfect.

3) The Notre Dame Cathedral. Again, this place is so beautiful. I'm not really sure why I have a preference for the Notre Dame over St Paul's in London, but I do. Okay, so part of the reason might be 'Notre Dame de Paris' (or 'The Hunchback of Notre Dame') by Victor Hugo which seems to humanise the whole place and give it an extra spirituality. I remember walking inside and instantly feeling the necessity to be quiet and soak up the surroundings. Also, after climbing yet more stairs, you can go up to the towers and see the gargoyles and the great bell - called 'Emanuel'. The bell is inside an old wooden room-type thing with a tiny door and old rickety stairs and it's really atmospheric. It looks absolutely nothing like it does in the Disney movie since it's tiny, but I had the songs in my head the whole time we were there... 

4) The general mood; romance, relaxation, happiness. Literally as soon as you get there you can't help but be absorbed into the atmosphere of the whole city, just wanting to grab your bicycle and go and buy a baguette and some cheese. The whole place just is romance, even in the libraries. Every time I go in a French library, with sliding ladders and old-looking books, I automatically feel like Belle from 'Beauty and the Beast' , and it honestly takes a whole lot of self-control to not dance around the streets singing in people's faces (again, I doubt my family would thank me for that). But still, "there must be more than this provincial life...". uhh, okay, moving on... French windows. God, they're so pretty, especially when the sun is shining and there are bright green trees outside. There seems to be a developing theme of the prettiness of Paris that I like, but there you are, it is a very beautiful place after all.

5) An obvious one now; the French language. Who can't love it, really? I honestly can't say how gutted I am that I was forced to learn German instead of French through Secondary School. I do hope to learn the language at some point in my life though (and I want this to be more than just the word 'poulet') so I can eventually visit the country without a phrase book, but that might take a while and I'm not entirely sure where to start. It's still very definitely on my list of things to do for the future though.

6) Disney land!! Okay, this is one of the best bits. No matter how much anyone tries to deny it, you can never be too old for Disney. With all the morals and life lessons the films can teach you, Disney land is such a great place to go. As a child it was all about the dressed-up characters, but now I think it would be more about the atmosphere and the restaurants - going to the 'Beauty and the Beast' restaurant and being served by candlesticks sounds absolutely priceless, if only it were cheaper! Still, I'd love to go again at some point, and hopefully it will happen.

So, that's why I love Paris so much, tied up in six actually quite long points. I know it's not very original and so many people, women in particular, have a dream to one day move to Paris and find some gorgeous French man to marry, but seriously it's such a beautiful city which everyone should visit and fall in love with at some point in their lives. So, à la prochaine!

1 comment:

  1. Hi Lucy,
    I'm doing a sort-of blog party- it's a watch-along of P&P95. We'll watch one episode every Friday and comment on it as we do it. I posted all the details and so on at Classic Ramblings, so if you're interested please leave a comment!