It was all I could have hoped for, from the cobblestoned streets to the magnificent Eiffel Tower, from the sidewalk cafes to the hidden Palais Royal. Outdoor markets, boulangeries, des pâtisseries, macarons, fine wines, cheeses, strong coffee …..everything quintessentially Parisienne. With temptation at every turn, I ask you this…how do the French keep in shape? I’m afraid of the scales right now!
Meandering through the maze of backstreets, it was difficult to keep my eyes from wandering to the ancient architecture. Even the door knockers were worthy of notice. Is there another place on earth so rich in culture?
One of my fellow workshop attendees informed us that Paris has the highest number of Airbnb rental accommodations of any city, with 60,000 homes offered on the website. I’m not surprised. With senses stimulated through sight, sounds, scents and taste, who wouldn’t want to visit Paris?
Visiting the Clos Montmartre, a secret vineyard located up the hill from Sacré-Cœur Basilica was delightful. Our guide was both knowledgable and entertaining. After a fascinating history of the vineyard, we enjoyed a sampling of the product (always dangerous for me, being an extremely cheap drunk!). My sore feet forgot they were sore and skipped all the way back to our lodgings!
We covered a tremendous amount of ground, both physically and metaphorically. Our instructors were brilliant. Trying to herd a group of us (mostly) older folks in and around Paris was a feat in itself! We became quite proficient in following our mama duck (although much younger than the rest of us), huddling around her on busy street corners and crowded metro stations. But Mama Duck still had to work at keeping the flock together. Running around, trying to help us set our ISO, f-stop and shutter speed while navigating around unforeseen difficulties, (such as when we were kicked off the grounds surrounding the Pyramid at Le Louvre due to the presence of a suspicious lone backpack) was a challenge, without all the details of keeping us fed and content.
Thank-you Bonnie from Great Escape Publishing and Shelly Perry. I know this is your job, but it takes a variety of skills to put something like this together, work with different personalities and knowledge levels, and have all leave with happy memories, blossoming friendships and advancing techniques.
I can still taste all that is Paris. I don’t believe anyone can visit and not have vivid recollections of this sensational city. Paris, je me souviendrai toujours de toi.