Picture this – it’s the middle of June. The weather is warm, but not blazing hot. In fact, some, like myself, would say it’s the perfect summer weather. You’re in Paris, the city of romance. Love is all around you – in the architecture, the buttered food, the melodic music, the impressionistic art. You feel the city’s warmth envelope you in the way that you had hoped for when you stepped off the airplane (or in my case, the train).
But you’ve come to the city all by yourself. And you have a loving husband waiting for you back in the States.
What is a solo traveler to do?
Well, I’m sure you figured it out by the title, but I enjoyed that time picnicking on the lawn underneath the Eiffel Tower.
As I wandered closer to the Eiffel Tower grounds, I stopped by one of the many (inexpensive) bakeries that populate the city and grabbed a couple of pastries. Then, armed with my reusable bottle filled with the pristine local tap water and my Kindle, I walked over to the metal structure that towers over Paris.
The grounds is quite large, with plenty of benches lining the walkways. However, where I wanted to go was the lawn.
I wanted to lay down on the green grass, stare up at the Lady of Paris as the sky changed from sky blue to the warm sunset hues, while occasionally peaking at the words on my Kindle, and slowly making my way through an eclair.
For about two hours, that’s what I did.
It was slightly surreal, to be honest. To be in Paris, enjoying French pastries, and watching the sun go down behind such an iconic art installation. I kept looking around, people-watching the fellow sunset picnickers, many more prepared than I, with their actual picnic baskets and actual picnic blanket, laughing with their friends (though there were the occasional lone wolfs like myself) and felt such contentment.
Eventually, the sun did go down, and the sky became dark. The time was nearing 10pm.
I had hoped that I would be able to have witnessed the moment that the Eiffel Tower turned into a twinkling wonder. But then I thought about the time it would take for me to make my way back to my hostel in Montmartre, and the fact that I was a single female in a city I wasn’t familiar with, sans protection weapons like a pepper spray, and thought maybe it was time for me to head back before the city became even quieter.