I’ve had the pleasure of visiting Paris 3 times in my life and I’m looking forward to returning again one day soon. The first time was in 1995 as my friend and I did a whirlwind Contiki tour of Europe. We came, we saw, we went up the Eiffel Tour and then we left 24 hours later. It was amazing and left me wanting to visit again….which I did in 2008. In January…yes January I got to enjoy 5 days of greatness. Since it was winter, there were hardly any tourists so no line ups for the Mona Lisa, no waiting for the elevator at the Eiffel Tour, no one blocking my view of my favourite paintings at the Musée D’Orsay. Last but not least, I went for two days in November 2011 – the weather couldn’t have been better, and we walked EVERYWHERE. I’ll give you all of the tips and tricks for visiting Paris in a very future blog, but I think today, we should remember the victims of the horrible attacks. We’ll always have Paris.
I do need to do a little rant right now…when people call the terrorists who victimized this city animals, it is really insulting since animals have no guile. These people are nothing but psychopaths. If Paris is a city of “obscenity and prostitution” it shows how little they understand about either. It is much more moral to prevent women from having any rights at all including the basic right of education. It is much more righteous to rape and terrorize women and young girls than to enjoy a soccer game. It is far more decent to force 12-year-old girls to marry 60-year-old men than to go to a concert. It is much better to hate and murder gay people than to accept them for what they are – normal, consenting adults. It is far more spiritual to decapitate a humanitarian or a journalist than to enjoy a glass of wine at a restaurant near the Louvre. And speaking of that, it is a much better idea to destroy antiquities like the Buddhas in Afghanistan and the museums in Iraq preventing those nations from every re-growing their tourism than to appreciate fine art the way they do in Paris. Please don’t take this as a condemnation of Islam, but rather a condemnation of the hatred that comes with any form of extremism regardless of the religion.
It is a scary time in the world, however, we all still have to live our lives. Travel is a way to get a better understanding of our world and the different types of people that live in it. Don’t let a few bad people keep you from exploring other parts of the globe, including the most beautiful city in the world.
Paris, Je t’aime.