Paris, City of Friends and Lovers

Lovelocks on the Pont des Arts, Paris

Last week we were fortunate to spend time with friends D&J from Felixstowe, who visited Paris for several days, and to get together for a weekend walk with friends B&D, who live just outside Paris.

With D&J, we walked for miles and miles, as do most visitors to Paris, given the city is ideal for exploration on foot and never more so than in glorious spring weather.  D&J managed to see virtually all of the city’s major sights and quite a few off the beaten track, a great result for their first trip.

Sacré-Cœur, Paris

We enjoyed sharing with D&J the tradition of securing a padlock — or lovelock, as these symbols of romance have come to be called — on the Pont des Arts, an historic pedestrian bridge over the Seine.

Clive and I first placed our own lovelock there in November 2009 (we debated visual clutter vs. romance and opted for romance) and a replacement in June 2010. Nearly two years later — since the city council hasn’t done another clean-up — it’s rusted but still there.

Our lovelock, before Clive's touch-up

D&J bought their own padlock at BHV and D engraved it with a few borrowed tools from Clive.  When we arrived at the bridge, Clive touched up our lovelock with a permanent marker. Then D&J clicked theirs next to ours (a slight challenge since there are now thousands on both sides). They completed the ceremony by tossing the keys into the Seine, upon which I pronounced them official Paris lovers (not that they weren’t that before). Well done, D&J!

D&J with their lovelock on the Pont des Arts

The day after D&J’s departure, we met B&D at the Parc de Sceaux, a gorgeous park a few stops south of the city on the RER B suburban train. The Parc de Sceaux is home to a chateau; acres of walking paths, gardens, and trees; and the museum of the Île-de-France.

Parc de Sceaux, near Paris

During our walk, B told us mistletoe, ‘le gui’ en Français, proliferates in treetops in birdnest-like clumps and is considered a parasite. Despite that, and even though it’s not the Christmas season, we figured it was still mistletoe so we stood beneath it for our own Paris lovers’ kiss.

Thank you, B&D, for a wonderful walk and for sharing ‘your’ park with us.

C&C under the mistletoe

Paris, with friends old and new — makes us very lucky, indeed.

Cheers for now and more soon.

  Related posts — our Paris lovelock story:
    Lovelock on the Pont des Arts (11/09, 04/10)
    Missing in Action on the Pont des Arts  (05/10)
    Lovelock on the Pont des Arts – Part 3 (05/10)
    Lovelock on the Pont des Arts – Part 4 (06/10)
    Honeymoon Lovelock on the Pont des Arts (11/10)

9 Responses

  1. I know all about walking too far in Paris! My daughter and I had a mammoth day out there in January, when we went up to the open day at the Pierre and Marie Curie University.
    I think that padlock tradition is great. If I can ever persuade Chris to come to the City of Light with me, we’ll put one in place.

  2. Hello Steph! and thanks for your comment. How great you and your daughter have walked around Paris together.

    The padlock tradition seems to remain popular, at least for now! It should be interesting to see if and when the city does another cleaning ‘swoop’. In the meantime, hope you and your hubby will be able to come here together and do your own sometime 🙂


  3. What a fun post! You guys are so cute kissing under the mistletoe!

  4. All the world loves a lover!
    I am so grateful for the time that we had together. I am very happy to learn that your friends spent a happy visit in Paree. One more happy couple who threw the keys in the Seine!

    It’s funny that we haven’t been inclined to add a lock, even after years together.
    Wishing you a happy return home.


  5. Hi there Paris Paul P — I do recommend kissing your spouse under the mistletoe 🙂

    xpat92, thanks again for showing us le gui — we think we saw some on the English trees on our train ride back in the UK this afternoon! It was very special to spend that time with you and your hubby.

    Cheers to lovers everywhere!

  6. Hi Carolyn & Clive,
    Just a “shout out”. How’s the traveling life? You have certainly spent many special moments.
    I sometimes pop in just to peek at your tweets and see where you are!

    Enjoy the States and have a great week.


  7. Hi Carolyn
    We spent our honeymoon in Paris xx years ago and have vistited several times since. Last year I took my daughter, staying for the first time on the left bank – loved it all over again,. Noticed the ‘lovelocks’ and later in the year discovered the same tradition has hit Florence.
    thanks for the memories!
    Ali B

  8. xpat92, hello and a belated but sincere thank you for checking in on us! We are fine, just a bit worn out from all the family travels and now happy to be home — for a while — in Felixstowe 🙂 Hope you are well and that we will see you on our next visit!

    Ali B, welcome and thanks so much for your comment and Paris memories! What a perfect destination for you and your daughter to fall in love with the city all over again – brilliant. Maybe Clive and I will cross paths with you and your hubby there one day.


  9. Hi again C&C,
    Oh mon dieu! My Sydney-Felixstowe-Paris life has been nominated for a blog award. Details on my blog & Congrats to ya.

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