Notre Dame Remembered
Reminiscing about my trip to Paris in 2012, I was reminded of the time we loitered around the Notre Dame aimlessly, merely appreciating the open conclave, and sitting beside the Seine. I was jolted back into reality, reminded that the Church is the same no more - about an year back, in 2019, during the month of April, the Church of Notre Dame was set ablaze by a massive fire that engulfed a chunk of the scenic monument, yet spared the wind organ that has come to be known as 'signature' Notre Dame since its inception, and the years that have since followed it. My appreciation for the structure extends beyond its perceived architecture, and into its history as a whole. I am still haunted by the rose-tinted glass window, which is arguably the centerpiece of the whole building - another look at it will quell my anxiety, and put me to rest.
European countries have a certain Effortlessness to them - other nations have tried emulating this very aura, and have achieved very little in terms of success. There is a particular reason for this, which Paris demonstrates spectacularly. My visit to the "City of Love", during the summer of 2012, was one I will not forget. Tagged along with a few friends, we set out to explore the beauty of the French capital in the wake of the morning. We took a 20 Euro daily pass, and moved from station to station, location to location, absorbing the sights and loving the excursion that came with it. I raised my eyes up from the beauty, and into the sea of tourists around me, and realized one thing - all of them were on their cameras, clicking everything they could spot; we, in contrast, were admiring the essence of the city, simply because it is unlike anything we are used to. The old timely architecture takes you out of whatever has gotten you bothered, and transports you to an completely different dimension. This was the case until we came back to our hotel room, which is in Modern Paris - that's when the dream broke. The new city is a complete whiplash from what the old, more famous part of Paris is like. We as tourists, tend to miss the forest for the trees. Old timely Paris was a hallowed destination known for its architecture (which has been encapsulated in the Victor Hugo's works as well) - modern Paris cannot even compare, let alone it's lesser imitators.