"Peace for Paris" by Jean Jullien
Shanghai lit in solidarity, in the colors of liberté, égalité, and fraternité
When I lived in Cambridge, all of continental Europe lay right across the Channel, ripe for exploring. At that time, though, my sights were set east, to my boyfriend/fiancé/husband (same guy, different time points) in Asia, and west, to my family in the US. Only rarely to the beckoning, not-so-distant shores.
Paris was close -- a mere two hours from London St Pancras to Paris Nord on the Eurostar. In August 2010 (over 5 years ago!), my friend Sarah and I planned a "romantic" weekend getaway for her birthday. B. swooped in from Hong Kong at the last minute and crashed our trip.
A Parisian labmate, Julien, met us at the train station and showed us around his home turf. While it was my first trip to Paris, the others had already been there and done that. We compromised with a mixture of tourist attractions (Notre Dame, the Louvre), wanderings through everyday life, and as much delicious food as we could handle.
Inside the Louvre
obligatory, if blurry and poorly composed, Eiffel Tower photo
Some places can be traversed in a few days and "checked off", if you will. Paris is not one of them. Paris is an endless experience and an attitude. We'll be back... someday.