I arrived in the touted “City of Lights” by the Eurostar in the mid-afternoon heat engulfed by an all-encompassing smog which made it a bit hard to breathe. So goes the secret of the shrouding mist that creates the accidental romantic ideal of Paris – it does make for good photos though.
Just as it is daunting to write about London, it is no less for Paris. What can be said that has not been said in countless novels and other travelogues?
Paris is massive, dirty and sprawling (tourists crawl every available space unfortunately) – it is as though the French Kings competed to build palaces after palaces using the large space while encouraging their citoyens to dump their rubbish everywhere while they build their empires. It is easy to caught up in the ornate architecture, only to be stunned into seeing a supermarket or something else complete modern at its base. Specialty stores – the heavenly bakeries (boulangeries), boucheries, fromageries and all, abound however, as there is still a stratum of traditional Parisians who don’t believe in mass consumerism.