I did not expect to like Paris.
In fact, I actually thought that I would come to dislike it pretty soon after arriving in France’s capital.
For years I had heard all sorts of stories about Paris like how the city smelled pretty bad almost all the time, how the Parisiennes were just plain rude and arrogant, how busy and noisy the city was, etc.
With that expectation and shortly after picking up my rental car I had reserved prior to arriving in France, I decided to leave Charles de Gaulle immediately (without stopping anywhere) and drive straight down to Provence – a long time dream travel destination of mine.
I just could not wait to arrive in Provence as soon as possible and see all the beautiful charming Chateaus around Gordes or drive along the Côte d’Azur.
Exploring Provence was truthfully like a dream come true.
This part of France is exactly like you would imagine it.
A sleeping beautiful mysterious diva that comes alive at night and lusciously rests throughout the day.
My heart was heavy when we had to leave Provence again and were heading up to Paris. But after all, we had planned to check out Paris regardless of our obvious expectation of disliking it and so we made our way via Orleans and Versailles, into Paris.
And boy, I could not have been more wrong.
I pretty much fell in love with Paris at first sight of the Seine that runs through the middle of the city.
If I had to go back though to that exact moment when the energy of the city had seduced me into falling in love with it – I would not be able to exactly pinpoint it.
It kind of just oozed into me and well, there it was. My love for Paris had begun and at that moment I knew what famous artists and thinkers such as Marlene Dietrich, Oscar Wilde, Jim Morrison and Sigmund Freud had drawn to this city and made them stay for a while.
It was nothing and everything I expected it to be.
Let me explain.
The things I expected.
Paris was noisy. Of course. After all, it was one of the major metropolitans in Europe.
It was also extremely busy. However, not near as busy as for instance Seoul, South Korea or NYC that I had been to.
Next, the smelling part. I am not quite sure who first started that gossip but to me Paris was not ‘smellier’ than any other city. Compared to NYC or Los Angeles for instance, it was in fact as clean as a young pride walking down the aisle to get married.
Now the things I did not expect.
I did not expect to think that the Louvre was truthfully one of the most beautiful art museums in the world (and I had been to many before this one as I love art).
I did not expect to really cry a tear (okay it was more like a dozen) when I actually physically stood in front of the Mona Lisa.
I did not expect to stay at a fabulous hotel (to get to my hotel tips, scroll down and you can click on the link to see them all on Tripadvisor) at one of the best parts in town.
I did not expect the Parisiennes to be generally and endearingly nice to me and my utterly broken attempts to speak in French to them.
I did not expect to feel like I had been to Paris before some time maybe in another life and that I did not want to leave at all.
I did not expect to seriously play with the thought of living in Paris for a while – but now I do.
My love story with Paris has begun and I am excited to see what the next chapter holds in store for the both of us.
For now, I hope that you enjoy my photo journal down below.
Stay tuned for more images to come on my next visit (I am already planning on going back next year) and do not hesitate to comment down below or email me if you need some travel advice, etc. ;).
A full list of my hotel recommendations for every budget, you will be able to find here: