Day 358 - Paris Pleasures

Trip Start Nov 07, 2010
Trip End Jan 01, 2012

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Flag of France  , Île-de-France,
Sunday, October 30, 2011

Ah, Paris... You were just meant to be a feather in my cap, a few days of bliss amongst renaissance charm.  Never intending to stay more than a few days, I was wrapped up in your sweet melody and quickly swept away.  Two days turned to three, and three to four.  Before I knew it, a week had passed and I had barely scraped the surface of this enchanted town.  Fall in France is the perfect time and place to be.  The leaves are turning and fill the streets with gold and yellow tapestries.  Down the regal tree lined boulevards, like a scene staged with preemptory planning, everything in its right place and the crispness of the air on the tongues and breath of every man, woman and child on the street.  Perfect white colonnades give way to wrought iron gates and vaulted arched doors, doubtless leading the way to some high ceilinged manse furnished in gold and burgundy.  Bay windows jut out above the bustling streets, like watchful eyes from on high keeping tabs on the weak.  The two classes, two faces, two sides to every city, are plastered over and hidden on these wide portico lined boulevards so all that you see are the rich and the flamboyant - the towering facades of neo-classical buildings dominating every breath of space in between.  Strolling around her busy streets, you can't help but stumble upon sight after sight.  The pure white marble beauty of the Sacre Cour Basilica, rivaling the untarnished visage of the Taj Mahal, the latticed iron framework of the Eiffel tower stretching towards the clear blue sky, ancient sculptures and buildings resembling Roman times like the Pantheon and numerous fountains lining the Seine.  It’s a glut of marvels, all concentrated in one city, such as a child who hoards their toys and puts them on display to the envy of their classmates.  Days are spent wandering the sun kissed avenues finding shade under an awning and sipping coffee, people watching from afar and listening to the slow babbling brook of French on the breeze.  I’ve found my favorite bistros, picked the best bakeries, scouted out the quietest parks and discovered my most adored streets.  This place has quickly become like a second home, living in the Latin Quarter and having the freedom to roam.  Whether it’s night or day, there’s always a sense of places still to see.  Corner cafes where the locals find the best quiche Florentine, to savory delights hidden down dark winding alleys.  Food drives my soul in this capital of cuisine, and there’s no shortage of indulgence or tempting sensory.  Pain au chocolat, escargot, coq au vin and lapin, fois gras, pâté, camembert and bouillabaisse - nothing can compare to the plethora of fine flavors and refined tastes.  I’m lost in a sea of fresh baguettes and warm crepes.  My life here has slowed to a more well worn pace of slow languid days savoring the finer things in life’s place.  Until I finally realize how much time has passed, how many days have gone by and how much traveling I have left.  So I uproot myself from this fair city of lights.  Leave behind all her beauty and culture, her endless gastronomic delights.  The hour to set sail is near and the call of the road demands - new adventures, new stories and new journeys at hand.  Au revoir, fair Paris, your kiss will be missed, but someday soon I’ll return to steal more from your lips.
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