Paris is as much an idea as it is a city. Ever since I was a child, I wanted to come here, my mind filled with images of shimmering lights and elegant city streets. I was not alone; Paris shall likely always remain one of the most desired destinations for international travel. The romanticized idea of the city is so pervasive that the disappointment many experience when it doesn’t live up to unrealistic expectations is a catalyst for a condition known as Paris Syndrome, an extreme culture shock best described in the New York Times article, “Chinese Tourists Find a Movable Feast Best Left Behind.”
Reading the article, it’s clear that no city could live up to the expectations some place upon Paris, not even Paris itself. Was I disappointed with my visit? No. Were there hoards of tourists? Yes. But with tapered expectations, Paris is indeed the romantic, magical, mythical, almost-fictional city of dreams and film.
You’re no doubt already familiar with many of the top attractions in and around Paris. I’ll save myself the trouble of history homework and just show you the photos (hover over for descriptions).