What to pack when traveling is always a tough decision. The part of me that loves the vintage traveling of yesteryear longs for a return to the golden age of air travel. That side of me wants to don my best wool blazer, a smart tie and a fedora and board the plane with a simple, well worn leather bag tucked under my arm with all the worldly possessions needed for my 10 days in New York, Switzerland and Paris.
Alas, the year is 2015 and travel has taken on a different look, however, I refuse to give in. I persist in keeping the dream alive as I carry out my plans for departure tomorrow, exploring New York with Carol, making memories with Carissa in Switzerland and Paris and do interviews for my friend Ruslan’s World Without Orphans, just outside of Zürich.
My favorite item packed for the trip is an exquisite coloring book of Paris, beautifully created by artist Zoé de Las Cases. Coloring the sights of Paris with Carissa as we ride the train from Lausanne, Switzerland to Paris, France is something I am looking forward to as much as seeing the “the city of love” in person.
Having just re-read Christina’s beautiful hand written journal of her experiences in Paris back in 2006, I am more excited than ever to experience its sights, sounds and smells. I love how Christina wrote about much more than where she went and what she saw, she wrote about how these places made her feel. The difference is beautiful and I love her for that.
While exploring Notre Dame she wrote, “We explored in awe of the vastness. I lit a candle and prayed for my family and guidance.” She loved the Eifel tower and I love her description of watching it’s lights starting to twinkle at dusk from her vantage point of the Arc De Triomphe.
Christina listed her vist to Montmartre & Sacré-Cœur (The mount of martyrs) as her most memorable moment, she wrote “Most memorable moment: Montmartre looking over lit up city with best friends. Jesus looking over the city in the Sacré-Cœur.”
The history of Montmartre is incredible and much to vast for me to fully describe here but from the dawn of time Montmartre has been a place of worship : from the Druids of ancient Gaul, through the Romans with their temples dedicated to Mars and Mercury, to the Church of Saint Peter, the oldest in Paris, rebuilt in the 12th century next to the Royal Abbey of Montmartre by Louis VI and his wife Adélaïde de Savoie… Finally, the Basilica of the Sacré-Cœur, erected at the end of the 19th century. Between and above the two bronze statues stands a statue of Jesus, welcoming you into the basilica. Below Jesus is the following Latin phrase inscribed; “Cor Jesu Sacratissimum” which translates to “The Sacred Heart of Jesus”. In French, Sacré-Cœur means just that, “Sacred Heart”. The Sacred Heart is a symbol of the love Jesus has for all of humanity.
One of the photos in this post has a little oil painting of the Eiffel tower that Christina wrote about buying as she walked across the Seine on the way to the Musee D’orsay. She wrote “It’s oil & very colorful. Different from how I see it but it’s how I feel about it.” I treasure Christina’s writings and reflections about this city that captured her heart, I have no doubt that Paris will capture mine and Carissa’s hearts as we travel there by train next week.