There are two bridges in Paris, actually there are a lot of bridges, but only two I want to talk about. One is the Pont del l’Archeveche the bridge of love (the French and their mistress’), the other is Pont des Arts the bridge of committed love.
My husband and I did a lot of walking while in the city of love, one day we walked across a bridge (later id as Pont des Arts) that had pad locks all over it. Looking closely some had initials with dates others had names or scriptures engraved. No one seems to know how the tradition started (I searched Google and Wikipedia, found out Sex and the City’s finale shot Carri and Big’s love scene on the bridge), researchers say that a lock appeared one night, and then a few nights later another one appeared, and so on. After a few months someone cut the links and removed the locks. But that act seemed to encourage lovers and within a short time there were more locks. Now, when you walk the bridge you can either purchase a lock from a local supplier, some will even engrave it for you, or you can bring your own and lock it to the fence to lock you and your love together forever. To assure your love is forever, you then toss your key into the Seine River flowing beneath the bridge.
We didn’t know this story or we may have brought my own lock and added it to the masses. Seems romantic, and when in Paris aren’t you suppose to do something romantic? Instead, we just admired the creativity of some of the locks and moved on, so much for romance.
In the articles I read, when the French were interviewed they were mixed on their feeling about the bridges. Some agreed it was romantic and felt it should continue. Others felt that people who add locks don’t understand love. You can’t love and tie someone to a commitment. Love is free, love it to be given freely and released when you no longer what to share it. Personally I go for the committed love, the one where you get mad at each other, spend a few days not liking each other, but you stay committed to each other and in the end it is worth it, because that’s what love is, in my opinion.
One afternoon we walked to the Monet museum. A fellow traveler at the airport claimed it was the best museum in Paris, how could we pass that up? We passed through the Tuileries Gardens on our way to the museum. There were fountains, statues and beautiful plants. We sat next to one of the fountains to enjoy the scenery, the weather and wondered while watching the lovers which bridge they put their lock on, one thing for sure a few needed to get a room. We finally made it to the Monet museum. The art displayed on the lower level of the museum are by varied artist. Picasso, Guillaume, Renoir, to name a few. Upstairs there are 2 rooms entirely dedicated to Monet’s large waterlily paintings, with 4 paintings per room, 1 dedicated to each wall of the room. Both rooms are mesmerizing, they have several benches to sit down on and just stare at this wonderful work of art. I LOVED this, it was so peaceful. You can use a camera anywhere in the museum except in these rooms, if you ever have the opportunity to go to Paris I would recommend this museum, it’s the smallest museum we visited but the most enjoyable. Outside the museum was one of my favorite statues The Kiss by Rodin. The story is the two lovers were caught (by the husband) exchanging their first kiss and condemned to wander hell. If you didn’t know the story I think you would see two people embracing their love. I think it shows them becoming one in their love. Ah to be in Paris, the city of love.
After continuing our walk we stumbled upon a couple of photo shoots. One was for a wedding, the bride was in the shadows of the Louvre entry’s while her groom stood back in awe of her beauty (love is the same everywhere). The second shoot appeared to be for a magazine, I assume this because they wore formal wear in the afternoon. The photographer was lying on the ground shooting a young couple on the banks of the Seine’s River. At one point the photographer turned his camera on a young couple kissing on a bench, wonder if that photo will make the spread?
I loved Paris. I loved walking. I LOVED the coffee. The people were friendly, and helpful, it was by far one of the best vacations I’ve had in a very long time. If you’re blessed with the time and can arrange to go, do it. I hope you and your love put a lock on the bridge and you’re bound together in a blissful life forever.