As a small child, I often dreamed of Paris. The Eiffel Tower, croissants and macarons, and lovers joining their locks to bridges, it seemed to be a place of delicious food and love. What’s not to like about that?
At one point in time (now long gone) I had hoped my future husband might just propose to me on top of the Eiffel Tower. In case you’re wondering, I am very original.
I first visited Paris almost four years ago, in the second half of 2010. I should have liked it, after all it is a beautiful city.
From the beginning it was obvious Paris and I were not to be friends.
The trains were on strike, making getting around challenging.
I don’t speak French, and despite saying Bonjour enthusiastically and accidentally massacring some French words in my best attempt, I was not well received.
In fact, the store keeper of a deli refused to serve me because I couldn’t ask for a weight in French and ushered me out of the shop.
I had some more staff at a French equivalent of Subway refuse to serve me because I didn’t speak French.
Basically, the locals hated me.
There was also the fact that everywhere seemed to smell like urine.
Now I’m not sure what constitutes romance for you, but for me romance tends to be a urine-free affair.
Walking beautiful streets of Paris that were full of history and urine was an interesting experience and frankly not what I was expecting.
I started to wonder if I was the only person in the world who wasn’t happy that Paris smells like pee?
Despite this terrible time I had in Paris, we’re going back. In fact it is the first stop on our itinerary in Europe.
Why Am I Going Back to a City I hated So much?
Truth be told, Paris is probably in my top four most hated places in the world. The other notable mentions are Laos (although I liked Luang Prabang), Kuta in Bali, Sofia in Bulgaria and Paris in France.
The real reason I’m going back to Paris is: It was the cheapest place to fly into.
The truth is, I don’t want to hate Paris. I want to ride around on bicycles in Paris, buying giant baguettes and croissants and overdosing on good cheese and wine. I want to visit the Louvre and go shopping on Champs-Élysées. I want to have breakfast in Laudreé and people watch.
I want to like Paris.
That’s where I need your help.
Have you been to Paris before? If so, please suggest some must see places and things to do in Paris, so hopefully I can fall in love with it like so many others before me.