Last year I went on a journey to Paris-the city of love. As I got into the city, my mind and my senses were awestruck with the ethereal beauty of this French capital. It is said that this modern city has a very deep sense of history. When I stepped into the city, the wind was blowing into my face, and the astounding view filled my heart with joy. This was a clean city full of smart, educated and feisty people. I entered my hotel room and was left spellbound with the sheer cultural aura of Paris, which was recreated not only in the lobby as well as the rooms. When I entered my room, the first thing I noticed was the beautiful canvas showing the city landscape on one of the walls. Another painting showcased their historical monument, The Arc De Triomphe, which represented the alliance that France shared with India. As I studied the painting, the enchanting fragrance of flowers in the balcony drew me towards them. As I stepped out, all other balconies boasted of fresh blooms, lightly scenting the air with a heady odour, lending a lovely, romantic feel to the evening.
Image courtesy- adventuringthegreatwidesomewhere.com
In the evening we dressed up and went out to explore the city. There was a lot of hustle-bustle on the streets, and fashionably clad people adorned the sidewalks. No wonder Paris has always been addressed as the fashion capital of the world. The people on the streets, gracefully walking around, flaunting their fashion brands-Coco Chanel, Tara Jarmon and Petit-Bateau, the men wearing pants, and women wearing skirts, were a pleasing sight for the eyes. I realised that shoes received more attention than clothes in French fashion, with people clad in formal shoes and heels from Pigalle and Club75. A very striking part of their attire included the bags that they were carrying. Louis Vuitton and Prada were clearly essential constituents of a typical Parisian daily ensemble.
The highlight of my trip was the city tour to the Eiffel Tower, the Arc De Triomphe and the Louvre museum, the next day. The Parisian architecture was stunning. The Eiffel tower was very large. The scenic beauty near the tower made me speechless. The Arc de Triomphe- a monument commemorated to honour those who fought and died for France in the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars, had names of the French victories and generals inscribed on it. As I ventured into the Louvre museum, one of the most significant symbols of French culture and history, I saw the creations of various artists such as-Leonardo da Vinci, Juan Luna and Gustave Courbet. Leonardo Da Vinci’s painting of Mona Lisa, a gorgeous smiling lady displaying an air of confidence, resilience and untarnished beauty, left me spellbound. Another painting that enthralled me was The Parisian Life. A middle-aged lady, sitting on a sofa, in a lonely setting, her facial expression demonstrating her exhaustion with her routine, brilliantly captured her intense desire to break free of the dejection. As I moved ahead, I chanced upon the Wounded Man by Gustave Courbet. This was a realistic depiction of the plight of wounded prisoners and the way they were treated. The thematic cruelty brought to life by the painter’s brush which generated a sympathetic feeling in the minds of the spectators, speaks volumes of the quality of French art.
And then came the boat ride down the river Seine. The view from the boat was spectacular. The alluring lighting of the buildings on either side of the river, with the Eiffel tower looming large in the distance, with lots of people chatting away made for a lovely evening. We took a two-day cruise from Paris to Germany. The cruise was like a moving hotel with all the luxuries inside it, the icing on the cake is the onboard water park. The hospitality provided by the cruise was so satisfying that I felt like home.
Walking into Disneyland was a dream come true. What struck me was the boisterous camaraderie and the liveliness of the entire theme park. The roller coaster Splash Mountain, the Haunted Mansion, the Jungle Cruise, Peter Pan’s Flight and many others, gave me a truly memorable experience.
As I recall the numerous joyful episodes that I came across the entire trip, my mind is filled with pleasurable memories, which have taught me one very important thing life is short, go ahead and collect happy experiences, make cheerful memories and sit back and go on a sparkling journey across memory lane every now and then. The learning is clear-collect memories; mere possessions are not enough.