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Paris in January

Travel Journal

Paris in January

Megan Schatzman

Paris was grey, dreary and bitter cold. It rained, snowed and even hailed. No matter how many layers of clothes I piled on I just couldn’t shake the chill. Yet even the miserable weather couldn't take the magic out of it. There’s something about Paris - maybe it’s the architecture, the food, or the art - the whole city inspires a sense of wonder. 

At night I sat on the wall of the Seine and watched the glittering lights of the Eiffel tower reflect on the water. It was surreal, and magical. 

I spent countless hours at museums, standing mere inches from famous works including the Mona Lisa. It was astounding, and humbling. We are bombarded with photos of famous places and things, so much so it feels like we've all traveled the world. But seeing those things with your own eyes changes them entirely. The same places and objects that everyone recognizes suddenly feel personal, and no photo you could take would ever capture that feeling. 

The highlight of my trip was the view from Montmartre. The fog hanging over Paris limited our view of the city, but for as far as we could see it was breathtaking. I stared as tiny cars buzzed along, little ant people shuffled in and out of bakeries, and lights flicked on and off. It felt as though I was watching the heartbeat of Paris itself.

I spent my last hours in Paris visiting local bakeries and markets. Most people buy a few souvenirs, perhaps a miniature Eiffel tower or a shirt. I flew home with a suitcase full of croissants, pastries and cheeses. Once again my love for food trumps all.