|Couple kissing on the rose strewn Pont des Arts on Valentine's Day in Paris|
The last time I saw Paris, her heart was warm and gay, I heard the laughter of her heart in every street café. -Oscar Hammerstein II
If Paris's heart is normally warm and gay, it must have been overflowing with joy yesterday. Love was floating in the air, literally, but I'll tell you more about that later.
First, let's go to the Ponts des Arts, the metal footbridge that many consider to be the most romantic spot in Paris. Originally constructed between 1802 and 1804, the nine-arch nine-arch pedestrian bridge attracts couples from around the world who pledge their undying love to each other by inscribing their initials on a padlock and attaching it to the bridge*. The keys for the lock are ceremoniously tossed into the Seine River as the couple immortalizes the moment by snapping a selfie.
In honor of Valentine's Day, the French watch company Sismeek lined the bridge with pink and red roses bearing the message, "It's time to say 'I love you'". Passersby, whether they were walking, cycling or jogging, were offered free roses for their sweethearts. Even though it was cold and pouring rain, I hung around much longer than expected because it was so much fun watching people's reactions to the rose strewn bridge.
|Antonio Canova's sculpture Psyche Revived by Cupid's Kiss at the Louvre|
As I had rather optimistically and somewhat foolishly left home without my umbrella, I made use of my Louvre membership to escape the deluge. I'm sure that there are quite a few Chinese tourists who will have tales to tell about the manner in which a disheveled woman used the public hand dryer in the bathroom to dry her hair in Paris. Yup, that sodden creature was me! Before leaving, I checked if Cupid was still locked in his embrace with Psyche or if he was on a last minute Valentine's Day mission. When I left the Louvre, I spread the love by giving a woman security guard the rose that I had received on the Pont des Arts.
|Jeff Leatham's Pop Up Flower Shop at the George V|
Before heading home for a quick lunch, I used Jeff Leatham's Pop Up Flower Shop as an excuse to pass by the George V for a cup of coffee.
My final destination for the day was the KISS flashmob at the Louvre. Organized to coincide with the launch of WikiLove, the encyclopedia of love, people were invited to gather near the Louvre's pyramid for the world's most diverse kiss party. At precisely 14h14 (2:14 pm) mothers kissed daughters, friends kissed friends, men kissed women, women kissed women and men kissed men. With the release of heart-shaped balloons, love was literally in the air. Isn't Paris the most romantic city in the world?
Please click here to see the album of photos from Ponts des Arts and here to see the album of photos from the KISS flashmob at the Louvre.
*If you would like to help free the historic bridges of Paris from love locks, like No Love Locks' Facebook page.
|Recognize this couple? They're the ones in the first photo taken on the Pont des Arts. After I snapped their picture at the Louvre, they told me that they're studying in Paris.|