‘Bonjour, wi wi, bienvenue and merci’ are the sounds I hear as I alight the train. The sweet sounds of French float through the air like an orchestral composition by Frederic Chopin.
Walking through a crowded subway with so many voices and faces of people of various cultures, I feel my heart begin to beat faster not knowing what awaits me. The long escalator which stands before me intrigues me, and makes me wonder what I will see at the top. I ascend from the underground tunnel and the cool autumn air welcomes me to the city of love.
The Sunday sky is filled with light grey clouds.
The autumn leaves that had turned brown are scattered on the sidewalk. I walk through them and look up. The gracious arc triumph looms over me. It stands tall and proud like a guard protecting the Champs-Élysées.
The Champs-Élysées is crowded. Shops and restaurants buzz with people going in and out of them. There are many Al Fresco restaurants. People sit on pavements enjoying meals in the autumn breeze. The many French culinary selections are always served tastefully, even at this time of the morning. What amazes me more is the pride that these restaurants take in packaging meals for people on the run.
My family and I walk through the tree lined streets, seeing beautiful monuments, buildings, fast cars and horse and carriages. We walk from the right bank to the left bank which is divided by the scenic river Seine with houseboats floating on it. As we cross one of the many bridges I finally see it; the one iconic landmark that I have only seen in pictures, come to life right there before me. This picture defines the moment that I am truly in Paris.
Excitement takes hold of me and all I want to do is get to the base of the Eiffel Tower. As the Eiffel Tower hovers over the Seine it draws me like a magnet. We finally get there and we celebrate it with French ice-cream cones bought at a quaint ice-cream stall at the base of the majestic landmark.
Happy and satisfied we meander back to the underground to catch the train back to Val de Europe, a country side suburb just outside Paris.
I sit here with a smile on my face as I remember the memories of my walk through the streets of Paris, which will be etched in my mind forever.