After spending 48 hours in the same clothes and an unexpected detour via Amsterdam, J an I made it to Paris for Christmas and new year with his family. At first I didn't really know what to think about the city, you hear such amazing things about Paris and I wasn't seeing what I had imagined. I think I over analyse things too much and I make a very detailed image in my head of what is to come and it never matches. I am learning that expectations are good, but great expectations can be disappointing. But after a couple of days I began to understand why everyone loves Paris. Every step you take there is a building more beautiful than the other, wonderful landmarks, history ingrained in the walls and indulgences everywhere.
I also think Paris is a city of in-your-face juxtapositions, more so than other cities I have travelled to. The streets are lined with the most wonderful architecture often missed because you're looking at your feet trying to avoid all the dog poo on the sidewalk. I saw Karl Largerfeld step out of a shop while a beggar was camped out on the corner. A martini costs you five euro while a beer will set you back nine. You ask for a coffee (at 10.30am) and they bring you a coffee-flavoured liqueur. And in the city of fashion, I could not find one pair of size 35 shoes. I know the last example is personal and 99.9% of the population wouldn't have the same problem, but differences continued to amaze me.
We didn't quite get to see everything we wanted because it seemed like half the world was also holidaying in Paris over Christmas (the line for the Louvre was over four hours long) but our trip to Paris was amazing nonetheless. It's tough but I think we might just have to pop back.
Happy new year.