12 Feb Cities and love: Paris, the best example
Paris incites the senses, asking to be seen, heard, touched, tasted and smelt. From romance along the Seine to landscapes on bus-sized canvases to the pick-an-ism types in cafes monologuing on the use of garlic or the finer points of Jerry Lewis, Paris is the essence of all things French.
In the great local tradition of the flâneur, or considerate boulevard-stroller, Paris is a wonderful city for aimless moving about. Relaxed quarters such as the vibrant Marais, elegant St-Germain and romantic Montmartre are ideal for street-browsing, shopping and café-sitting, and the city’s lack of open space is making up for by beautiful formal gardens, by the pathways and pavements that run beside the River Seine, and by endless hidden or unexpected havens. Wherever one goes historic landmark buildings and contemporary architectural wonders reminds one of the city’s pride and grandeur.
The lovers should bond with nature, and each other. Paris is filled with beautiful gardens, and all make an extraordinarily romantic setting. Luxembourg Gardens, in particular, is a great spot for couples, and is adjacent to the breathtaking Luxembourg Castle. French kissing is a must here. One must have seen the scene in almost every romance set in Paris – a couple embraces for a deep kiss on a bridge overlooking the Seine River. Take one’s honey to the nearest bridge, walk to the center and get smooching. Wine and dine – There are few things better to savor in Paris than a wonderful meal, accompanied by a delectable bottle of wine. One can go in anywhere in Paris to find this. Wander along the Champs Elysee until a sidewalk cafe captivates one’s attention.
Walk arm in arm. Venture to the Ile Saint Louis (near Notre Dame) for a great neighborhood for walking. The tiny island within the Seine has cute boutique shops, nice restaurants and nightclubs filled with locals. Try Berthillon which is a delicious ice cream that can only be found in this small neighborhood. Jazz it up. This is one of the best cities in the world to listen to jazz, whether it’s at a smoky hole-in-the-wall or a popular club. Hit any jazz club, snuggle, sip wine and listen to the sounds of Gay Paris.
Long famed as the city of lovers, it’s easy to see why Paris still holds interest to couples looking for a little romance. It can be walking hand in hand along the quails of the Seine, or sharing a Bertillon ice cream in the Ile St Louis or even kissing in front of the Sacré Coeur in Montmartre, lovers of all ages can absorb themselves in the same romantic Parisian atmosphere that has inspired centuries of novels, paintings, photographs and films.
It is known that the best things in life are free and one of the most romantic things about Paris is the ability to walk for hours finding one’s own special corner. Certain areas lend themselves beautifully to this form of exploration, from the winding streets of the medieval Marais to the overgrown cemetery of Pere Lachaise home to Oscar Wilde, Chopin and Jim Morrison. It is certainly a City for lovers.