Whenever you think about Paris you immediately think of romance and honeymoon getaway. But is Paris really just about romance?
My first time in Paris was early 2012 when I had my first trip to Europe. I was a new graduate with big hopes, no money in my pocket and very limited language skills (French or English). I had only four days to see everything and to discover all the mysteries I've ever heard about this French treat. I left Paris with a bit of disappointment, the most romantic city in the world just looked like an overpriced city with a lot of promises and not so much reward. To be honest I didn't know if I would ever go back.
Early 2018 I had a second chance with Paris. That would be a perfect opportunity for a friendly reconciliation, probably our only and last chance. And I took it. I was invited to spend a few days with a close cousin of mine and her family, in their lovely apartment located in Saint-Lambert area.
I packed my suitcase and set myself out on a quiet weekend without any major expectations, other than enjoying quality family time. And that's why I had a perfect Parisian weekend.
My dreaming memory happened on a sunny and warm Saturday morning. It felt like a treat. The weather in Paris hadn't been great in the past days, and having the sun coming out for a pick felt like a sweet "welcome back, Dilson"
Without any plans or destinations in mind, my cousin and I decided to head out for a walk. At first, going for a walk in Paris sounds a little out there, since this is a huge metropolis and the tourist attractions are considerably far from each other. But when you are completely free of tourists obligations, that's when the traveling magic really happens.
We got to walk through the narrow streets of Paris while enjoying a cup of coffee and soaking in the beautiful French architecture. We've made all the way until the Le Jardin du Luxembourg where we stopped by to check out the calm and peaceful life of locals. The garden looked much better than I remembered. The grass was green and very inviting, the whole premises was garden was full of people, enjoying an afternoon cup of coffee, spending time with their loved one and taking in the so precious sunlight, a breath of fresh air after months of cold winter.
I'm still not sure if I get the romantic feeling of Paris that everyone is talking about, but it's certainly a beautiful city. There's something really sophisticated and at the same time very simple in the way, the Parisian people live their lives.
When the sun shines through and reflects the beige walls of the buildings, in juxtaposition with the cloudy green-ish waters of the Le Seine river and the bubbly blend of thousands of tourists and locals, they really make Paris an one of a kind city.
My cousin and I started our walk in Saint-Lambert, made our first stop in the Le Jardin du Luxembourg, walked through the Ile de la Cite, took some pictures of the Cathédrale Notre-Dame and walked down the river, right at its margins for about half hour.
After a quick lunch, we decided that we didn't have enough of Paris and we made all the way back, also walking. We estimated have walked 6km in no more than 6 hours and I couldn't recommend it more. If you ever in Paris, take one day off of being a tourist and just try to imagine yourself as a French Parisian enjoying what best this city has to offer.