Love Is In The Air – Or Locked To A Bridge!
Twenty Years in Paris – Part IV
Let’s face it. If you have been to Paris and liked it enough to return for another visit, you undoubtedly know the two biggest draws to the city. The visual eye candy comprised of amazing monuments, spectacular churches, ancient architecture, gardens, fountains, the River Seine and the cobblestone streets is reason enough for repeat visits to the crown jewel of Europe. The other reason is, of course, the food!
Clearly, the French can sculpt a statue, paint a canvas and design world class buildings. They can also create the most amazing, mouth-watering food I have ever seen anywhere. Being the visual person I am, I often stop dead in my tracks when I pass a French patisserie, charcuterie, boulangerie or fromage shop. The display of food items is nothing short of breathtaking. Paris, my friends, is where food porn was invented.
Strolling the Left Bank streets one day, we came upon a heavily residential area with the most amazing shops displaying gorgeous presentations of pastry, cheese, fish, meats and wine all within a few steps of each other. Imagine how wonderful it must be to live in the area and be able to shop for the freshest ingredients and freshly baked treats every day. I hope to some day find out how long I could keep my weight in check living in Paris and being tempted by daily displays of goodness in every direction.
Grab a fresh duck breast or rotisserie chicken, some cheese and a great bottle of red wine all in the same city block. Oh, and don’t forget something for dessert. It’s a good thing few Parisians own cars and instead walk to public transportation pretty much everywhere they go. Living in a city like Paris with one of the most advanced Metro (subway) systems in the world allows residents and tourists to quickly get from one end of the city to the other by just walking to the closest Metro station.
We returned to Paris this year to celebrate a very special occasion. Last year we discovered a fascinating new phenomenon that is catching on all around the world. I wrote about it here. Someone came up with the clever idea of writing their names on a padlock, locking it to one of the bridges in Paris and throwing the keys into the river to symbolize their love for one another and their commitment to forever be joined together. I’m not sure if anyone knows exactly where and when this practice got started but I thought it was a heartfelt way of declaring your love for your partner, and I decided right then that we would return to Paris for our 20th anniversary and attach our own Love Lock to a bridge in Paris.
Since we first discovered these locks of love along one of our favorite bridges near Notre Dame, we decided we would find a spot along the Pont de l’Archevêché to attach our lock when we returned to Paris last year.
Having prepared for our trip by having our names engraved into a heavy, steele lock that looked a little different from most of the others so we could find it when we return to Paris time and time again, the day finally arrived when we would add to this public declaration of one’s love for each other. As is typical in situations such as this, the anticipation was the best part of the experience. We found our spot, attached our lock and tossed the keys into the Seine River. I only wish there was someone I could have trusted with my expensive camera gear to take a good quality photo of us. Unfortunately we were in a very touristy area and that didn’t happen.
I hope that as we begin our next 20 years together, our love continues to be as strong as the lock we left on that bridge, in a sprinkle of rain, in the city we love.