Paris is known for its fashion – its amour – and its lights.
Originally Paris earned her nickname, City of Lights, because the Latin Quarter was a beacon of enlightenment in the 17th Century – the European capitol of education and philosophy.
During Haussmann’s renovation of the city, he commissioned miles of underground gas lines to accommodate the nearly 30,000 lamps across the city streets. The avenues and boulevards, along with the bridges across the Seine, literally glowed.
But recently another illuminating experience contributes to this reputation.
In 1985 lights were added to the Eiffel Tower. Each night, at the top of the hour, the lights begin to twinkle which lasts a full five minutes.
I had the pleasure of taking eighteen students to Paris last March. The tour guide led us past the Eiffel Tower on our way to the Bateaux Mouches just past dusk. The timing was absolutely perfect. As we walked along the Seine, engrossed in after-dinner conversation, the lights began to twinkle.
You should have seen those kids. The cameras came out and the selfies commenced. Squeals of delight were heard for miles around, and some literally jumped for joy. It was indeed a magical moment – an escape into an enchanted land, if only for five minutes.