February in Paris – Part 2: Valentine’s in the City of Love
Paris is truly the City of Love. For even if you are not lucky enough to be strolling around the streets of the central arrondissements in the arms of a loved one, there is surely sufficient beauty in those Haussmann-conceived boulevards and palatial streets to fall in love with. And while I have been lucky enough to spend the last 5 years of visits to Paris in the company of my beloved, I also look back fondly upon my first experiences of the city: when young and very much single, I saw the historically rich and artistically abundant streets for the first time and fell head over heels in love – a personal relationship with Paris which has continued to this day.
So spending this year’s Valentine’s Day in Paris certainly seemed appropriate. Yes, the city was wise enough to cash in on its reputation, such that every restaurant was reserved to the hilt with set menus costing triple the normal price, but putting this rather crass commercialisation aside, I could not think of no better place to spend the year’s most dedicated day of love. The city is one so perfectly attuned with its environment and its picture perfect urban planning that is as though the city is in love with itself, with the nature all around it and vice versa. At every street corner there is a new panorama to be admired and a new direct vista to some stunning iconic building, and with such harmonious town planning evident wherever you walk in Paris, you cannot help but feel satisfied, balanced and free to love.
The photos which accompany this love song to Paris are something of a miscellaneous homage, taken over the Valentine’s weekend as we strolled and admired the city. From bridges to cafe’s, bull dogs to palaces, they are the archetypal vision of a picture perfect city which will seduce every visitor, and make even the most stalwart singleton feel love for the first time.
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