Paris in bloom may be the most beautiful place in the world. On Tuesday evening, I took a late Eurostar train from St. Pancras for a 24-hour whirlwind visit to the City of Lights. I arrived in Paris - fittingly - as the clock struck midnight, and the magic began.
On Wednesday morning, I awoke to the sun shining gloriously above my head with not a cloud in the sky. My first stop - after a decadent cup of bold French coffee - was the Musee des Arts-Decoratifs to view the Louis Vuitton/Marc Jacobs retrospective. This exhibit was pure artistry. Both of these men confronted the challenges of their respective time periods - Louis Vuitton, industrialization, and Marc Jacobs, globalization - to create the most iconic brand of all time. Now, more than ever, I am convinced that fashion remains one of the highest forms of art.
After this moving experience, I decided to profite from the gorgeous weather so I took a pleasant stroll along the Seine, passing the infamous Shakespeare & Co bookstore. I stopped briefly to peruse through the old Hemingway copies, then I headed for my favorite arrondissement - Le Marais in the fourth. Here, I wandered through the winding stone streets, poking occasionally into the many boutiques, and eventually ended at the Place des Vosges. On a sunny day, this square may be the most pleasant spot in all of Paris.
After a few more hours in the sun, I went for a spot of tea at my favorite tea shop, Le Loir dans la Thiere. With its' many references to Alice in Wonderland and its tasty loose-leaf blends, this cozy shop brought back many warm memories.
I felt like Cinderella at the ball as I looked at my watch and realized that I now needed to make my way back to Gare du Nord to return home to London. At first, my mind fleetingly thought about how I could possibly extend this trip for just one more day to enjoy this magical city. I quickly returned to reality though. The wonderful thing about Paris is that I always know that I will be back.