Monday, February 02, 2009

City of Lights

Considering how much I absolutely adored Paris, it's a true shame it has taken two months to blog photos. I wasn't expecting to love the City of Lights as much as I did -- but given my brief time there, I honestly can't wait to go back. Maybe in the Spring or Fall next go round!

I arrived into the city at 7AM local time on a flight from Barcelona. G&G and Alaina had flown home to Salt Lake and I was alone for the first time in a city whose language I knew less than a handful of words. It was snowing when the bus dropped me off in the Opera District; cold, tired, and weighed down with a cruise-worth's of luggage, I'll admit that I was a bit overwhelmed. Wonder of wonders, my hotel room was ready for me and the front desk clerk didn't think twice about letting me check in. Unbelievable. So I had a place to dump my stuff, gather my strength, and take off walking.

It was the first day of December and oh so amazing being in the City with all the Christmas (Noel) decorations and shoppers. Sunday mornings must be slow; I had the city practically to myself until after noon. The hotel had supplied a map and I walked and walked and walked until my hip and knee joints ached from avoiding puddles and speed walking. I knew I'd walked an exhorbitant distance, but once I got home I realized I'd gone 15+ miles. (Now my belief that a half marathon is doable has been proven.) I saw the Louve, the Arc de Triomphe, Notre Dame, walked the Champs Elysees--and the Eiffel Tower was visible from nearly every spot in the City. (I'll admit the first time I spotted it, the upper portion was encased in fog, and I nearly cried. I must have been tired.) I bopped along to a playlist of Adele and Duffy and loved every second of being there.

Traveling alone was definitely an experience. To be honest, I really loved it. Having a French speaker would have made things easier, and I definitely want to go back to Paris with people I love, but there's was something so empowering about being there on my own; making my own decisions--turning left without telling anyone I was going to do so--and pushing myself to go and do and see more than I might have otherwise. Silly as it may seem, I was on top of the world--I felt like nothing was out of reach while I was wandering around. My senses and brain were hyper alert and firing on all cylinders. If I could navigate being alone in a foreign country, I could navigate my own life with ease. Like I said, it was an experience.

I did get tired of taking my own photo.

NatAttack in Paris

6 comments:

Whits said...

So jealous! I love wandering Paris alone. I dont know what it is about the city, but it is empowering.

Heidi said...

Looks like an awesome trip! It'll be a while before Jason and I will have any money to go on trips like that!

ju said...

Is the French bread in France as good as the loaves you can get daily at Shaws? Just curious...

kendall said...

I love it, Nat! My favorite moments in NYC are when I'm alone, just doing what I want and going where I want. I'm jealous, so take me with you next time!

Rachel said...

How fun! I reallly, really want to go to Paris. I should have been there with you! But I'm glad you had so much fun alone, that's is definitely a life accomplishment. Touring by yourself in a foreign country? Definitely.

Jan said...

sounds strange...but I liked the picture of the bricks! unexpected?

Definitely, maybe, probaby related posts:

If NatA! posted a photo with this blog, here it is!