I went to Paris for the first time... and now I'm in love. Its beauty, culture, food, language and atmosphere seem to be in such harmony, it's classic and timeless and so sophisticated... I had heard so many mixed opinions about Paris - some people love it and some people hate it and some are indifferent. So when I went to Paris, I didn't have high expectations - I thought I will go and see it for myself. And now I think how can you hate or remain indifferent to its beauty?! I guess, a lot of the times people were disappointed by the notorious "unfriendliness" of the locals towards tourists and the lack of efficient service. But for me these are not the things I rate highly in my book, I am a visual person, and so what I see around me is more important than service or attitude (although I must say that during my visit I have had a great experience with service and locals - it is just the same as in any big city).
The three highlights of Paris for me were the Pont des Arts, the Pere Lachaise cemetery and the Eiffel Tower.
I thought that the most romantic place in Paris is the Pont des Arts with its padlocks and the famous "postcard" view on the island where Notre Dame stands. This place was familiar to me even before I went to Paris through the photograph of Henri Cartier-Bresson:
And here is my homage to the master of classic photography:
You can see how the background got "busier" with time but it still holds its classic Parisian look.
I don't really know when has the tradition of couples in love attaching little padlocks to the railings of the Pont des Arts bridge and throwing the keys in the Seine waters started, but it really adds to the charm of the place. I caught myself thinking that one day I would like to come here with that one person and attach a little padlock to symbolise something meaningful. Here are the ones I found particularly interesting:
I will write about the Pere Lachaise cemetery in my next post...