We had only two nights in Paris, and my daughter and I intended to pack as much sightseeing, shopping and eating as possible into our one full day in the City of Light. Our version of “Paris in 24 hours”.
The night we arrived however things changed, as this was January 7, the day of the terrorist attack at the Charlie Hebdo office. We watched TV at our hotel as events unfolded, and weren’t sure at first what we should do. Was it safe to be out sightseeing at the major landmarks? Text messages from home checked if we were okay, and we promised to be careful.
The next day we did venture out, and Paris was beautiful as always, although more subdued. Signs in windows expressed solidarity with “Je Suis Charlie”. The cloudy skies seemed appropriate given the terrible things that had taken place, but eventually the clouds broke and the sun shone through.
We walked everywhere, admired the Renoirs and Van Goghs at the Musee D’Orsay which was open late that night, and had a delicious meal at a cozy bistro.
Our flight left as scheduled the next day, but our hearts are still in Paris. Today, along with the rest of the world, we watched with hope and admiration as over a million people marched in Paris for unity and solidarity. Je Suis Charlie!