The month is gone, the walks are done for now, the photos sorted out. The impressions, the feeling of wonder and awe, the constant joy, the beauty remain. When I first visited Paris, it seemed important to do all the touristy things: visit Le Louvre, climb on top of the Eiffel Tower, take that tour bus, diligently mark all the main attractions, and above all be sure that we knew all the names. The photos I took were typical for the occasion with everything we saw serving as background for us. Any photo could be labeled “I have been to Paris!” This is normal I believe. When you go somewhere beautiful and historically rich, when you try to see as much as you can in a very short time, you want to be able to remember and to know what was what. A whole month spent in a city you more or less know is different. At first I felt an obligation to pickup every information leaflet, to build up various routes. By the end of my first week I felt more confident; I also realized that the city is limitless in its attractions. There is no way one can walk all over and feel sure that one has seen it all. Look around you, and you will notice something new, something unexpected. It may be a quaintly shaped building whose purpose you do not know, or a tiny old church; a lovely park or garden, or a scenic embankment; a shop window with fantastic Easter displays or a tall column with yet another barely discernible figure on top; an odd decoration in a yard glimpsed through a gate or a lovely tree in bloom. And then there are the people, both the locals and the tourists. They rush along on their business or take pictures; most of them notice you trying to catch a view and wait politely, so that some of your photos look as if there were no other humans around. On a chilly or rainy day a park may seem deserted; on a warm sunny Sunday there are crowds relaxing on the lawns.

Naturally when you sort through your pictures back at home, you may exclaim, “Wait a second, where is the photo of the Saint Jacques Tower I remember taking several times?!” I’m sure it is somewhere but I cannot find it in my collection, so this is something to be done on another visit. Paris is forever!

Fin1 Fin3 Fin5 Fin6 Fin7 Fin8 Fin9 Fin10

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