So an article from the Huffington Post about the Pont des Arts as the most romantic spot in Paris has inspired this piece or series of pieces. It got me thinking that although the Pont des Art is quite romantic, there may be people out there with a different idea of the most romantic spot in the City of Light (and love).
My friends at Osez Le Romantisme have compiled a list of the 10 most romantic spots in the city. These are some of the classic most popular spots in Paris, and are, among visitors and tourists, places where they have experienced some of the most amazing moments of their lives. And I agree, who wouldn’t want to be in one of those beautiful spots with the person they love!?!
But the purpose of these pieces is to dig into the idea of “the most romantic spot in Paris”, on a more personal level. Through my own expereices, I want to encourage you to respond, comment and reply about what you people, readers, Paris lovers and *gasp* Parisians, consider one of the most romantic spots in the city is. (FYI : being Parisian doesn’t mean you are necessarily French, it just means you live here).
I heard from one of my readers, Prudence Kilgour who sent me this lovely contribution that explores the romance feeling of wandering around the 5th and 6th arrondissements near the river Seine, and the place along this beautiful river where once upon a time THE question was asked :
“St Prudence 6th May 2012
The evening sun was sinking below the Pantheon as the couple ambled down Rue Maitre Albert towards Quai de Montebello where the bouquinists were starting to close their stalls. The plane trees were in full leaf and across the river the soaring buttresses of Notre Dame supported the cream stone and the grey roof softened by the suns rays. On the Pont de l’Archeveque the padlocks attached to the grill by eternal lovers glinted and the white lanterns of the bleached marroniers were in candescent.
Descending the steps to the riverside pavé the couple found their favorite stone bench & sitting down unpacked their basket, champagne & two flutes. On the bateau restaurant moored nearby an accordionist played a lifting walzt. Sitting on the seat where 25years ago he had proposed to her they raised their glasses. The couples walking their dogs had looked on approvingly and a crowd of sightseers on a passing bateau mouche burst into applause.
Love was alive and well in Paris.”
What makes Prudence seem all that much more a whimsical and romantic person to me is the fact that she has created a perfume line here and inspired by the City of Love!
I agree with Prudence, the “Quais” along the Seine, or the Canal Saint Martin, are quite romantic when the weather allows us to stroll along them. We can thank Henri IV who instilled the idea of pedestrian leisure, by ordering the construction of the first bridge without buildings on it (Pont Neuf) and opening up parts of the river banks for gardens so that the proletariat could enjoy somewhere to walk and take in the air (not yet polluted at that day and age, if you don’t count the smell of horses).
In the postcard-picture-perfect movie Midnight In Paris, Woody Allen depicts the two lovers at the end of the movie, standing on a bridge over looking the Seine…thus perpetuating the idea of romance along the water that flows through Paris.
The Quais still consistantly host picknickers, strollers, dancers, kissers and gazers alike. And with the stunning backdrop of Paris…it certainly does seem trèsromantique! But I wonder what it is about these open-air spaces that inspire romance or at least the idea of it? Is it the abundance of space; does freeness of movement in turn allow a freeness of feeling? Is it just the beautiful scenery that lets us to feel lofty and in love? Perhaps it is just in the air…
I have to say, some of the most romantic moments and places in Paris, are the ones that either take us by surprise, or that grow with us and become a familiar part of our existence here. Those places that become as familiar as the hands of your loved one, or that surprise you so, as when your heart first went pitter-patter under the glance of the one who has (or will someday) captured your heart.
What are your favorite places to seek out a romantic moment around the City of Love?
My next post on the subject will explore romance and dining…stay tuned.