Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Home from Europe!

Hi there!

It has been a week since Cicely and I returned from our big trip across the Atlantic, and I am still reeling from the excitement! In many ways, it was a truly life-changing two weeks, and I feel so fortunate that I was able to enjoy and learn from this incredible experience. And, as there are so many wonderful things to recount, I feel I must separate them into three blogs, one for each city: London, Paris, and Berlin. But I must begin with Paris because, for me, it was the sparkling highlight of the entire trip.

Beginning from a child who loved reading the Madeline books to the musician whose favorite college classes were French, I have always felt a special connection to the French language and to French music. Musicians are so often questioned as to their favorite composers, and I have found that the response which comes the closest to my answering such a difficult question is, "French composers!" I was a French minor in college, and my first time out of the country was last summer when I spent a few days in Montreal. Still, I have long wanted to see with my own eyes the country that was home to such masters as Debussy and Ravel, and to hear with my own ears the beauty of the French language all around me.

Paris exceeded my expectations. It is a city which, if I had to describe in one word, is alive. It is alive with culture, beauty, food, history, and of course, music. The moment we emerged from the train station, I sensed an intangible, special feeling in the air that seemed to remain beyond one's first impressions. But somehow, it was within the tangible details of the city that I felt this intangible something; from the violinist on the metro playing Bach to the manner in which the waitor asks if you would like a cup of coffee, one senses that there is an almost magical quality to Paris.

As with the other cities we visited, we spent most of our time simply walking - walking from the morning until the evening, exploring as many parts of the city as we could, and enjoying the incomparable French cuisine along the way. Everything from the architecture to the gardens to La Seine to the small cobblestoned streets meant only for pedestrians, is beautiful. And all along the way, one is surrounded by a beautiful music - the French language. Indeed, Paris is a city of beauty.

Up next: London!

All for now.