Everyone loves Paris, n’est pas? After all, it is the number 1 tourist attraction in the world! Well, most people do, I believe. Some years ago, 2011 to be exact, I had a most amazing opportunity to live and work only an hour away by train from the city of lights! At the time, France was not number 1 in my heart, and I was so wretchedly jet lagged that I wasn’t even impressed with the Eiffel tower at first glance! Yup, it wasn’t love at first sight, but like true love, once it began it could not be stopped!
1. The Views
2. The Food
People bring up French food all the time when in the context of fine cuisine, and there is a reason for that! French people have a cultural love for food, and along with that comes a revered respect for the art of cuisine.
This is a heaven for the taste-buds and food lovers! You would be hard-pressed to find bad food in Paris (though it does exist, so stay away from anything within or near Gare-du-Nord) whether that is in a bakery, a restaurant, a crêpe stand or a bistro, you are bound to be satisfied!
3. The Way of Life
4. The People
While many French people speak English, there are plenty who do not. Sadly, a language barrier can inhibit you from getting to know the very wonderful and quirky people that are the French. They are very social, especially around food, and enjoy talking about film, politics, work, as well as lofty discussions of a philosophical nature that can lead to heated arguments (usually only with close friends or family).
While it is true that some French can be a bit short with tourists, it takes only some effort and some French words to let them know that you genuinely respect their language, and therefore their culture, and, therefore, respect them. They truly are a friendly and polite group of people who can be surprisingly open and welcoming.
5. The Culture
The arts are greatly celebrated in Paris, after all, a great deal of contribution to the Arts can be traced back to France. You can feed any artsy craving here, from musicals, to museums, to history, to literature, and everything in between! I love the idea of being able to educate yourself and learn from sources around you, and there is an infinite amount of knowledge to tap into in the city of Paris.
These are the reasons I love Paris, en bref (in brief) and why I really wanted to go there for our honeymoon. It was lovely to be back, and it was heart-warming and thrilling to see my husband experience it all for the first time. We are definitely looking forward to going back one day, possibly this coming winter!
Paris can get a lot of bad rep, especially the people. But if you go with an open mind and open heart, and you practice a bit of your French, you should have a wonderful experience. More about Paris and France to be continued next week!