europe,  Travel

Paris: The Last Edition

As I sit in the American Airlines Flagship Lounge, bound for Calcutta, with my mug of cappuccino and book (Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil), I thought of my last update on Adi and mine few days in Paris. This seems a time as good as any to finally send this post going. Paris seems a world away even though it was just a few months ago.

Another year seems to have brought a new home our way. We just finished moving apartments in the same building. Our bodies are sore, but our souls are satisfied. It comes with the territory I suppose. Where would the pleasure be if we did not have to put in this back-breaking work. After all, man is made of pain and pleasure.

Back to that time when we walked the streets of Paris and swooned at its eternal beauty. There was the afternoon when we met Lulu. It was golden. Apart from that the fact that we had a soft bundle of canine loveliness to bury our faces into. At Les Invalides, a guard shushed me with a smile. Even remonstrations in French sound chic. I saw the reason for it soon. There was a funeral cortege issuing from one of the doors.

We had a gander at the Luxembourg gardens that is somewhere between Saint-Germain-des-Prés and the Latin Quarter. Its sylvan beauty sat within a not-too-overwhelming radius. The waters in the fountain gleamed on that cold winter’s day with unerring beauty. The dappled sunlight, the bronzed sculptures of Greek gods and actors, the bare bones of swaying trees, and the soft breeze. It was one of those moments that you appreciated the effortless artistry of nature, the presence of your beloved, and the loveliness of life in one of the grandest cities in this world.

A white-haired man turned up with his two sons and decided that they wanted a photograph to be taken of them in front of the Medici Fountain. We obliged. He directed his sons to pick up the chairs around us. I thought, now for a grand photo shoot and a hell lot of creativity. What did they do? They simply plonked themselves on the chairs in front of that strip of water. That’s all. A comedown of sorts. But then remember The Hollow Men? This is the way the world ends. Not with a bang. More of a whimper.

A boulevard from the garden eventually led us to the Latin Quarter. The Pantheon with its grandeur and then the quiet hum of life in and around the Sorbonne. People sat in the shadow of the Pantheon braving the cold wind, and meanwhile, we came upon a British pub in the quiet lanes of the quarter. A pint of ale for Adi, a coffee for me. And then,  back on the road. For that is the one great love affair in life. The road.

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Windswept on the banks of the Seine
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Art Nouveau lamps and my handsome fella on Pont Alexandre III
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The Seine beneath a sea of clouds
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Pont Alexandre III
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La Tour Eiffel from the gardens of Les Invalides
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Les Invalides
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Church of Saint-Germain-des-Prés
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Nutty tart at a café in the Saint Germain district
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Drama of light and shadow 
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Jardin du Luxembourg
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The 17th-century Luxembourg Palace and its grounds were inspired by the Pitti Palace and the Boboli Gardens in Florence because Queen Marie de Medici was from that Italian city of unparalleled architecture and beauty.
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The Medici Fountain
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The Pantheon shows up in the backdrop of Jardin du Luxembourg

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The Pantheon
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In the shadows of the Pantheon
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The Latin Quarter
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A pint at a British pub in the Latin Quarter
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Lofty scenes. Fountain of Saint Sulpice.
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Scene captured at The Church of Saint Sulpice where you had met Lulu earlier. Looking at this man who was so oblivious to the passage of time and people, I thought to myself, there should always be time to sit, shut your eyes awhile, to bathe in the liquid warmth of the winter sun. If there isn’t time or the intent, you realise with a shock, why, you are not in Paris!

 

36 Comments

    • dippydottygirl

      Merci Sheree! Thank you for indulging me. I have banged on and on about Paris. But it is a city that demands nothing less.

  • BGCT2VA

    Once,again,Dotty, your pics and text bring everything in that beautiful city Alive .
    Good luck with putting the finishing touches on your new digs.

    • dippydottygirl

      Thank you as always. 🙂 I have finished with it and reached India as well. Now the job is to battle some deadly jetlag.

  • Len Kagami

    Your photos bring back memory of my last trip to Paris! I did walk a similar route, starting from the Gare du Nord, crossing the Seine, through Latin Quarter and ended up in Jardin du Luxembourg 🙂 I think you can only see the true beauty of Paris when you walk through her streets.

    • dippydottygirl

      Those walks are just unmissable…I miss them even now! Sometimes I have these moments when I remember random places and times, and it brings such a warm glow. It must be one of the rewards of travelling.

      • Len Kagami

        Specifically, it is the rewards of travelling “not in group”. I used to join tours, and I must say I barely remember anything after my trips. Just spending a lot of time on the bus 🙂

        • dippydottygirl

          Of course! I have never travelled in groups — except for press junkets and I must say I hated them for the most part.

          Here’s to travelling your own way and bending to no one else’s whims.

    • dippydottygirl

      Thank you Megala, I loved that moment too. A quiet stolen moment with the play of light and shadow, because soon after people started appearing on the scene.

  • Caroline Helbig

    I’m sitting on a train in northern Sri Lanka and can’t manage to download all your photos but the ones I can see are lovely. What wonderful reminiscence of your time in Paris. I couldn’t agree more with your parting words. Safe travels Dippy!

    • dippydottygirl

      Oh well, in a manner of speaking, we are in the same continent. I am in India visiting my parents. Which places are you travelling through in Sri Lanka? It is so beautiful there, though searingly hot. Do have a safe trip and thank you for the generous words as always, Caroline. xx

  • travelgarb

    Loved reading your impressions of the Luxembourg Gardens. I remember them as the location for pony rides and model yacht racing on the lake. Before that, sitting in deck chairs watching artists with my late mother. Great photos btw

    • dippydottygirl

      Thank you. 🙂 You must be remembering it with particular fondness because of time spent there with your mum. It all sounds rather blissful. Those pony rides, model yacht racing and keeping an eye out for artists.

    • dippydottygirl

      Thanks Tracey. Me too. I am as far away as possible, in India, and the heat is making me stir-crazy. Make it an extra large sigh for me.

  • questionsfromateenager

    I love Paris. Ever since going last October, I want to go back but I am currently trying to save money sooo… No Paris for me. That being said, I loved reliving Paris through your eyes. I feel like everyone has an opinion on the city – either you hate it or love it (at least that’s the only two opinions on it I have ever heard). Great post Dippy, and those black and white pictures enhance your writing so well!

    • dippydottygirl

      Hey Fiona, how have you been? Apologies for the delayed reply. Am in Calcutta at my parents’ and the wifi is a bit wonky here. Anyway, Paris will happen for you. It might take time, but then the best things in life take time, ain’t it? Thank you for your kind words as always. xx

      • questionsfromateenager

        Oh, no problem! I’ve been doing great, thanks for asking Dippy, how about you? And true, and like I said, it’s not like I have never been to Paris before, it’s just now that I’ve been I desperately want to return and spend more than a weekend there. xx

        • dippydottygirl

          I am good. Just trying to bide the intense heat in Calcutta before I travel back home.

          I am sorry! Clearly I was amiss. I do hope you get to return soon… (the news about the Notre Dame is saddening, on an aside). Have a great rest of the week. xx

  • TheresaBarker

    Hi! I hadn’t visited in a while, wanted to wander over and see how you are doing, Dippy-Dotty Girl! Hope the spring is warming you up there on the COLD east coast. We are getting some sun, definitely, here it is supposed to be 80 degrees F this weekend. Time to start watering the yard. (boo hoo)

    I LOVE this black-and-white travel journey for Paris. It’s like you time-traveled us back to the 1920s or something! Such a gift you have for celebrating places and good times of visits. Thank you!

    p.s. I’m still doing my baby running program, up to about 10-15 minutes now (hah!). Hope your running is going well also! I think of you with my jogging steps sometimes, as images of my running friends and family flip into my mind while I’m moving. 🙂

    • dippydottygirl

      Theresa, so good to hear from you. Thank you for thinking of me while jogging. I like that. Connects us over different time zones and places us in the same mental zone. 🙂 Well done with increasing your running program. Slowly upping the ante is the best way of going about it. *hi five. I am also changing up my routine and including more yoga and weights to add a bit of a kick to it all.

      Gardening and spring rituals on the horizon, yeah? That sounds just about lovely. We are indeed warming up here though it is sufficiently nippy still. Today there was a pizza-making event on the rooftop in the evening. The chef used the grill outside for the pizzas and my teeth started chattering from the piercingly chilly winds sweeping through my bones. Fingers crossed for a bit of warmth and loveliness.

      Thank you so for the sweet words of appreciation. You are kind to give this post your time of day. Bisous.

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