adventuring takes effort. resources. time. it means pausing the usual and taking up with unknowns.
nothing I'll write here will capture the fully expected and the unequivocally unexpected everything that kept brushing up against itself as I walked around Paris. the Seine is muddy and green. practically everyone in Paris is practically always smoking. French food is generally exquisite. (here and here most particularly.)
this tower--as cliche a symbol of France as anything could ever get--both is and is not exactly what you think it will be when you arrive to meet it in person. from our seventh-story balcony in the Latin quarter it looked as quaint and delicate--and as distant--as on any little postcard or glossy travel poster. but walking up from the Champs de Mars metro station, crossing a few short streets, rounding a few dark corners, and being confronted with this strikingly tall, sparkly slice of iconic Parisian architecture for the very first time--that is a moment and a thrill I only have this picture and now these paltry words to re-evoke.