“You can have the other words
chance, luck, coincidence, serendipity.
I’ll take grace.
I don’t know what it is exactly,
but I’ll take it. ”
― Mary Oliver
While walking through Ngaio today on a blustery Wellington Wednesday, I thought about Paris.
It’s now more than 2 years since we were in Paris and promising that we would return and next time for at least three months. Oh, the best-laid plans etc.
But notwithstanding all that has happened in the intervening 29 months, the memories are still live. We had such a fantastic time; we did all the touristy things, Le Tour Eiffel, trips on the Seine, Place des Vosges and Victor Hugo’s house, the Pompidou Centre, La Defence, The Louvre, etc etc.
I am sure that La Defense was the Architect’s favourite place to visit. What a fantastic building The Grande Arche is.
We were told the Arche is placed so that it forms a secondary axis with the two highest buildings in Paris, the Tour Eiffel and the Tour Montparnasse.
La Défense is Europe’s largest purpose-built business district with 560 hectares (1,400 acres) area, 72 glass and steel buildings of which 16 are completed skyscrapers . Another very wet day but an interesting area to visit.
Of course, he was totally impressed with the Pompidou Centre and the work of the British Architect Richard Rogers and the Italian Architect Renzo Piano. We had dinner there and I had a hard time getting him out of the museum when it closed for the night. “Next time” we promised “we’ll come earlier and stay all day”
It rained a lot while we were there, but we managed to see quite a lot of Paris in our 7 days.
We became adept at travelling on the Metro.
Because he was an Architect we spent time under the Tour D’Eiffel while he looked in total wonderment at the complicated engineering arrangement that made this wonder.
And in case you’re wondering, no we didn’t go to either Galerie Lafayettes or Printemps. We were there to enjoy Paris. Shopping could wait until next time.
So now I have all these lovely memories, backed up by the thousands of photographs the Architect took during our 13 weeks in Europe, many of which are in Paris.
And as Humphrey Bogart said to Ingrid Bergman in the film Casablanca
“We’ll always have Paris”
And Walking, Wishing, and Wondering ?:-
- Walking is self-evident
- Wishing we were together again in Paris
- Wondering if I shall ever go back.