Friday, April 6, 2012

Paris, Love & Bridges

In Paris there are a number of bridges which cross the Seine and are adorned with thousands of padlocks.  These padlocks are locked onto the bridge by lovers from all around the world.   In 2010 the Paris Municipal Council removed all the locks, which originally started appearing in 2000.  
In less than 2 years, the padlocks are reappearing thick and fast.  
On one of these bridges, the Pont des Arts, is a padlock with our names on it.  The twentieth panel in looking down the river towards the Eiffel tower.    We chose the 20th panel to signify the date on which we married a few weeks before

We purchased our padlock from one of the street vendors which set up alongside the river.  They sell all kinds of Paris memorabilia from second hand books to tacky replicas of the Eiffel Tower, complete with flashing lights!   I wished we had of been more organised and had our padlock engraved, but due to time constraints we had to be happy with a permanent marker. 
We stood for ages and read the padlocks and I imagined the couples coming here to "lock" their love in. I wondered if they were happy on the day they did it and were they still as happy today?  I hoped so, as I hoped the same for us.  

Some of the padlocks were expensive looking and ornately engraved and some were tiny little cheap ones with the very popular permanent marker engraving.
We counted the panels, which we had to do three times over just to make sure, and agreed on a spot at the centre top.   Our lock was rather large, and we smugly thought others might think it means we love each other more. In reality, it was the only one the vendor had.
We both bolted the lock shut in the carefully chosen position and kissed each other.  It was so romantic.  It really was.  Standing in Paris, on a bridge, locking in our love and kissing.  This kind of stuff happens in Paris ... because, you know ... Paris is the City of Love :)

The next part of the ceremony is to throw the keys into the Seine River so no one can break the love we just locked in.  Funnily enough, no one paid any attention to us giggling and snuggling on the bridge.  We threw the keys into the river as we both said "I love you" and kissed again.  We kissed a lot in Paris.  It's just what you do. 
It was a really lovely thing to do.  It feels like we have left a little piece of our love on a bridge in Paris.   I just hope our lock is still there when we go back to Paris one day and the council hasn't removed them all.

It is funny, I wasn't sure I was going to like Paris, in fact I was prepared to dislike it.  I thought it would be one of those places where you have such high expectations and it can't possibly live up to them.  I'm not sure what I expected, but I do know I didn't expect to love it so much.  I wasn't even looking forward to going.  How wrong I was and how glad I am that we went.  It is a place I can't wait to visit again.  Everywhere you turn there is something amazing.  On our first night we crossed a bridge and turned a corner and there laid out in front of us in all it's glory was the Lourve.  Amazing stuff.   I don't think it is possible to not fall in love with Paris.  There is something about this place that just oozes romance, beauty and love, and I believe that even the most jaded person in the world could go to Paris and fall in love with someone or something.   

Have you been to Paris?  Did you fall in love?



  1. Aww you guys that is such a lovely story. I have been to Paris many times and will happily go again. Gertrude Stein said 'Anerica is my country, Paris is my hometown'. I feel that way about Paris and would love to live there one day.

  2. Your wedding and honeymoon pics and updates were fab. I remember them clearly. Haven't heard of that bridge before. Lively idea.xx

  3. Paris is my dream city. You guys are lovely! :)

  4. Oh My do I love Paris...? It quite possibly might just be my favourite city in the world! LOVE the padlock bridge (Pont de Alexander was my all time fave though) and hope that I too get to return and leave a symbol our our love one day.

    Beautiful post xx

  5. I put a padlock on that bridge when I was there last year. I haven't told anyone until now. I have a photo of it and it's coordinates (3rd on the right facing the Louvre) so that my boys can hunt it out when they get to Paris. I hope the council doesn't remove them again.

  6. Your post is so well written I now want to get a padlock and head to Paris. Oh with hubby of course.

  7. Going to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary in May. Can't wait. X

  8. Going to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary in May. Can't wait. X

  9. Going to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary in May. Can't wait. X

  10. Beautiful. I love the romance of that sentiment.

    My husband went to Paris before he met me. He went alone and hated it. Then when we went to Europe I insisted we go, and he begrudgingly agreed, warning me that it was terrible. But then he surprised himself - he loved it. I think you're just meant to be in Paris with the love of your life.

  11. In October 2011 I spent 3 weeks on a "Writing Memiors" workshop with Patti Miller. Prior to this my feelings about Paris were so so.
    My my .. have I changed!
    After following the historical paths of great writers, philosophers and artists, eating in restaurants they frequented, being able to utilise my high school French with the locals around Montparnesse where I was living .... I now understand about a new type of 'falling in love'. I felt sick the day I had to leave Paris and my inner heart yearns daily for my moment of return.
    I didn't have a love of my life to share this with Annie, but I did find a love of my life.

    Thank you for touching my heart.


Thank you for sharing your thoughts with me x

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