Love: likely the most prevalent word that comes to mind when thinking of Paris. Why? Well, that depends who ask. Our ancient city oozes with the making of romance and whimsy. Try to imagine how many love stories have played out behind the great walls, enchanting streets and intoxicating gardens. And as we naturally jump to the thought of stereo-typical love, two lovers wrapped in the other’s embrace, I dare to say love will never be so small. The spirit of this city, the quiet subtlety of it’s refined, ageless beauty will quickly have you redefining your meaning of love.
You may choose to spend it alone, tucked away reading the words of Hemingway, with a soul mate, whether friend of lover, or perhaps new love is on the horizon. In any case, let’s dream a little of destinations where you may wish to play out this certain chapter of your story.
One of my personal favorites is the Great Mosque of Paris. The dainty glass of mint tea, tiny birds hoping about the mosaic terraces: an exotic escape that will truly inspire. Just across the street is Le Jardin des Plantes, a green, enchanted wonderland of forest and plants. Get lost in the labyrinth at the top of the hill, or walk among the grandiose rows of tree lined pathways.
An absolute necessity to experience in Paris, are the covered walkways and private mansions tours. The few walkways remaining, date back to the 18th century and are rich with art and elegance. Pont de l’Archevêchém may be a cliche destination for lovers, but nonetheless, terribly romantic. Steal away to the bench and engrave your initials into delicious lock-shaped chocolate from La Mère de Famille.
Perhaps there is someone with whom you share a love of food? A French cooking class with a partner sound like a dream to me! Either make a day of it in the market then returning to create lunch with the chef, or spend the evening whipping up a special Valentine’s dinner.
There is no write or wrong formula for celebrating love, just as there is no way to truly define love in words. Although, we can keep expressing what we know of it and discovering how to love more fully. Remember to smile at strangers…you never know who’s lonely day you could transform.
“The last time I saw Paris, her heart was warm and gay,
I heard the laughter of her heart in every street café
The last time I saw Paris, her trees were dressed for spring,
And lovers walked beneath those trees and birds found songs to sing.”
Oscar Hammerstein II, 1940