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Welcome to the online blog for traveler/writer/photographer Steven Barber. Come in. Relax. Take off your shoes and socks -- or any other article of clothing, this is the internet. Have a look around. I hope to intrigue, amuse, entertain, and maybe provoke you just a little. I love to find adventure. All I need is a change of clothes, my Nikon, an open mind and a strong cup of coffee.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

ROAD TRIP: No Cure for Paris

"If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast."
     - Ernest Hemingway

For this morning's entry I elected to randomly pick a destination from my 30,000 photograph archive. 

Yeeks, some statistics are better left alone.

Today we journey to Paris, which probably should be everyone's first international destination. Full of adventures, history and art -- and the language barrier makes it just challenging enough to demonstrate that you're really, truly, overseas.

We have visited the "City of Lights" a mere three times now, yet with each journey the city reveals a bit more about itself -- and about ourselves as well. The romance is real, the vibe entirely unique. There are other wonderful destinations in the world, but none of them have the je ne sais quoi of the capital city of France.

We have had many adventures in Paris, and lived to tell the tale. 

My argument with the rude cabbie who spit -- only to be followed moments later, as if dispatched from the Paris Tourist Board, by another driver in a Yankees ball cap, who made us feel entirely welcome while we laughed and were cajoled all the way to the hotel. 

The first night ever in France in which we found ourselves a little postcardish corner cafe with red velvet walls, generous french waiters, incredible food and one very elegant french woman who sat reading Le Monde and gently pulling on a cigarette in a long holder; leaving us temporarily transported back to the romantic (and possibly imaginary) Paris of the early 20th century. 

Of the magnificent food...it's true it's impossible to get  a bad meal here. 

Spending a (relatively) short time in the Louvre so as not to detract from the -- for us -- far more interesting D'Orsay. 

Staying at the very modern and chic Westin Vendome this last journey, and not enjoying it nearly as much in the more humble and "local" hotels we've used before -- listening to the sounds of the city at 2am in the morning while a french couple have what only could be interpreted as a lover's quarrel somewhere in the apartments down the street. In French of course, but the emotions are raw, strong, passionate and identifiable.

Paris is, as Hemingway noted, a moveable feast that gets into your blood and soul, and never lets go.

Je t'aime.

Taxi queue near Place Vendome

The Bastille District
The Seine -- focal point of Parisian life

Monet exhibit at the Musee L'Orangerie
A "locking of love" on a Seine bridge

Students from La Sarbonne spend Saturday nights next to the Seine, chatting and waving at the tourist boats

Lovers walk along the river, lost in romance

Wandering the alleys and streets you can still feel the Paris of Romance and Love

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