Falling in love with Paris
I first fell in love with Paris in 2012 when I went there for a special birthday (no, I'm not telling you which one!). The city was everything I'd imagined it to be and more, full of light, love and midsummer heat.
I'd defy anyone not to fall under the city's spell; the Seine is majestic, the Louvre... well, what can you say about it - it's stunning, vast, and with too many exhibits to count and so many rooms to explore, you need more than a day there.
L'Arc de Triomphe was a must-see for us because that's where the Tour de France swings around several times during the final stage, and well, it's iconic, isn't it? It's also very, very busy, and Hubby and I spent about 10 minutes wondering if we should play chicken and try to dash across the roundabout to reach it, before we realised there's a tunnel underneath! Doh!
Sadly the Notre Dame is devoid
of most of its glory now but it certainly was a sight to see, and I'm grateful we had a chance to see it (although, and I might be being sacrilegious here, Worcester Cathedral is almost as impressive and a darned sight closer to home for me!).
As for going up the Eiffel Tower... well, you've got to haven't you? Strolling by the Seine is the ultimate Parisian activity as is sitting outside at a cafe with a very small, very strong coffee,, and we indulged in both, several times.
We didn't see half of what we wanted, so my husband, a keen cyclist, suggested going to Paris to watch the end of the Tour de France, I jumped at the chance. And I was so glad I did; we saw more on the second visit and it culminated with us standing for hours in the pouring rain watching the Sky Team come in, with Chris Froome leading the team home. It was a magical moment, and not just because of all the pomp and ceremony surrounding the Tour de France.
The race is gruelling, iconic, the pinnacle of cycling, and hats off to those guys who compete in it. Hubby has given me a love of cycling (watching, not actually sitting on a bike), so it seemed logical to me to combine Paris, the city of love, with the majesty, pomp and ceremony and the all-round fantastic circus that is the Tour de France, in a novel. My husband suggested the title, Le Tour de Love and he also suggested writing the book. I'm still very glad I did. The subject matter might not be to everyone's taste, but this is a book I needed to write and I've no regrets - not one single one.