I’ve been building up my trip to Paris for weeks, reading all the guidebooks I could get my hands on, reviewing the must-see places to visit, getting tips from the lucky few who have been before me – and I must admit I was worried that all my hype would dampen my experience. If anything I didn’t think big enough!
Paris is a city like no other. Of all the other big cities I’ve visited they’ve all possessed something different. I love the fast-paced nature of New York, the skyline and the shops of course; London is where I work and I love the culture, the architecture, and the diversity; Los Angeles I loved the traffic *crazy I know*, the beaches and the lifestyle; each one I loved but none compared to Paris.
You hear people saying that their hearts belong to Paris and mine definitely does, this a city with stylish qualities not just about fashion; the architecture – it’s the only city I have been to where the skyline hasn’t been spoiled by tall buildings; the women – now we’ve always known they are the most stylish in the world but I loved the qualities of the older women such class; and best of all the balance it weighs between the madness of the traffic, and the romance of the streets.
For sure the reason that most come to this fine city is fashion or romance, or if you’re lucky a combination of the both. I was lucky enough to be taken here for my birthday and I loved every minute. Of course as my first time I insisted on doing all the tourist traps, the Eiffel Tower *wow what a view*, a boat trip down the Siene, picture taking at the many churches, cathedrals and historical buildings dotted around the city, taking in the culture at the Louvre, people watching in the many cafes *one of my favourite things about Paris*, and sitting in the many parks.
But for me taking in my surroundings of such a beautiful city was the best experience. This is a city which has a casual breeze about it, OK so it is busy with it’s crazy traffic, where you fear for the lives of the many scooters, but it is a city which unlike London and New York – it does sleep, that’s not to say that you can’t do anything here after hours – just that people accept that work is work and make the most of their leisure time. I was lucky when I was there it was glorious sunshine and even though it was midweek the Parisians still enjoyed the sun, they just seem to go in later, relax longer at lunch and general slowed their step. I wish if anything we could learn for Europe it is that life is too short to be working long hours.
I bumped into so many locals taking photos of their surrounds really taking in their city, I can’t remember the last time I took a picture on my way to work with a camera other than the one on my phone. There is just a sense of creativity in Paris which I liked and wanted to embrace, fashion is an obvious choice but just looking around the sense of trends isn’t as apparent, people are more individual in what they wear. There seems to be a case of wearing what they like, adapting the trends to suit them – here people seem to flock to the same trends that magazines and the high-street lays out for them *me included*, but I loved that different style doesn’t equal fashion victim.
I admit not everyone had a style that appealed to me, but I liked that they had thrown themselves into it. This was much more apparent in the teens that we saw – you can see the American influence merged in with their French flair and I liked it. But for me it is the women that give Paris its fashion capital of the world title. So defined in their beauty, sleek tailoring, gorgeous accessories and always carrying the most exquisite handbags *I have to get myself a Lancel*.
My love for this city is one that I am sure will only grow each time I visit, while there I could find myself asking what it would be like in autumn – as I am sure that when the leaves change colour this city will present itself with further beauties that I have to discover. It is the fashion capital of the world, no question about that, but for me it offered hope of so much more – and I can’t wait to visit again.