“Grey, grey again!” exclaimed my wife looking from our Paris window. Yet nothing was going to interfere with the day’s adventure. This holiday was the result of years of savings and unfulfilled dreams. Would the reality shatter the dreams or go beyond the fantasy into the trip of a life time?
Accompanied by umbrella and rain coat we ventured out via the fantastic Metro, or by bus or on foot. Guided by iPad maps and helpful locals we targeted the highlights of this metropolis – the shops, the architecture and its history. The lights of Paris shimmered in the mist – the Eiffel Tower lost in the rain. Yet we were awash with the magic of that city.
Sipping coffee in sidewalk cafes or standing breathless before the Mona Lisa this city felt like our long lost home. We were not visitors; more like children exploring grandma’s special home. Every corner revealed magnificent delights – every new room a treasure trove of places to explore, things to do and photographs to take. It was uniquely and distinctively French and not a hybrid of European cultures – yet the whole world was there in wonderful assimilation of the best of French culture and life. The vitality in the city of a thousand shades of grey was like a rainbow in all its majesty dazzling in the life of its people. Never did the camera shutter stay closed for long.
However, unlike grandma’s home, we could collapse into bed in the small hours of the morning exhausted with excitement, stuffed with magnificent French food and well lubricated with the wine of the gods. Sometimes I wondered if we were driven by the next culinary delight or to exercise off the cobwebs of over indulgence. “Let’s go! There is so much to explore, see and taste”.
Whereas the dreams of Paris had no end, the reality of a holiday’s conclusion gradually arrested our minds. Back home we got a new dog and her name was of course Paris, as a living testament to the majestic city.
All this came from one phone call to Wyndham’s travel staff. I expect few of us have definitive plans for overseas travel; few with sufficient knowledge to optimise credit points. Wyndham’s staff gently guided and challenged my insecurity. Their expert knowledge and experiences was invaluable in utilising our credits, minimising cash outlays while optimising the experience.
Words and Photos by Peter.