A letter describing a visit to Paris
Architecture in rapture! History come alive! Beauty immortalized! Paris is all this and more, my darling. I’d love to take you here on our next vacation. I’d love to see the city through your eyes.
Shelley, you probably think I’m a nut for starting my letter like so, but I am completely enthralled by Paris. There is so much to do and see that each day after my business meetings, I go and explore, staying out as late as midnight. I’m a bit bleary-eyed in the morning but it’s worth it.
Paris has the most beautiful architecture in the world. The other day I had a chance to go to the Eiffel Tower. Despite its heavy steel frame, there’s something very majestic about it. I took the well-traveled stairs from one of the four metal boots, to the second level and then an elevator went to the top. The observation deck puts you above the city. I could clearly the see Louvre museum and its landscaped gardens, filled with flowers. Even now I can still smell the sweetness of the honeysuckle. But the most impressive sight was looking down onto the Seine. The river was a bit polluted, I won’t lie about that, but as I raked my eyes over the water, I saw a small little island. On this island was a miniature of the statue of liberty. Lady Liberty, a little green from the water and air, still proudly held up her torch of freedom for all to see. It was a bright reminder of the spirit of freedom. Freedom the French helped us to embrace over 200 years ago. I stayed on the deck and watched the sunset, wonderful oranges and red shadows fall over the city.
The next day, after work, I just strolled down the Champs Elysee. It is a wonderful street, filled with shops, eateries, and stores, but what struck me were the many obelisks I discovered. Why were there so many monuments from Egypt, I wondered? I asked a street vendor who was selling some ice cream. He told me that the Emperor Napoleon had brought back several such gems from when he went to Egypt. I was thrilled. That night, I got on the Internet and ordered a book about Napoleon’s adventures.
I can’t adequately describe these obelisks, but one really made me wonder about it. It was tall – over twelve feet. It was taller than the others. It was thin, with a pyramid top and the sides were an intricately laced pattern of Egyptian Ankhs. I thought that it might have been placed at the entrance of a long ago Egyptian city, welcoming visitors and comforting its citizens.
I visited the Louvre last night. It is such a magnificent building. It is shaped in an “U” and easily travels a city block. I was told that up until the 1300’s, the Louvre was the residence of the French kings and queens until Louis IVX moved his residence to Versailles. The Louvre houses some very famous artists and portraits, but the one that really mesmerized me was the Mona Lisa. Until I saw it, I didn’t understand what made it so special. Maybe it’s the hint of playfulness in her upturned smile, or her teasing eyes, but she seemed to reached out to me and touch me. She told me to smile. I’d knew then I’d be back and I’d be back with you, darling.
It’s getting late, dear Shelley, and I must lay down. I am thinking of you, missing you terribly here at night. While Paris is a wonderful romantic city, nothing beats being at home with you.
J’aime vous, ma chere.