32 FOCUS - JANUARY 2018 The Loveliness of Paris (continued from page 31) I left Montmartre and its secret vine- yard (the smallest in the world) and headed back to the city to stroll along the banks of the Seine. Artists were plentiful with stalls occupying every possible location. I bypassed the Eiffel Tower, as it is now a security nightmare. A large, chain-link fence has been erected around the entire base and en- trance is via one opening. I walked the Avenue des Champs- Élysées from the bottom to the top (where my hotel was) and when I ar- rived at the Place du Concorde, I saw the street had been closed to vehicular traffic. A gate had been erected and po- lice with guns were searching people as they passed through the opening. Police trucks and concrete barriers had been set everywhere to avoid ve- hicles barging through and hurting the innocent. It is unfortunate that it has come to this, but once you are strolling along the large shopping street, with thousands of people, you soon realize the security is necessary. It is difficult to explain Paris to any- one who has never been, and as Oth- man Nejjar, once said, “You can’t de- scribe Paris unless you have wandered around the streets under the rain at night. You can’t describe Paris until you walk in a sunny park very early in the morning. You can’t describe Paris if you haven’t felt the atmosphere at les Quais de Seine, on a Friday night after a full week of work. You can’t describe Paris when you go to your favorite terrasse on Sunday afternoon with your friends.” He is right. I can’t describe Paris. You have to experience it. Jonathan van Bilsen is a photographer, author, columnist, keynote speaker and can be followed at photosNtravel.com DO YOU KNOW…..... What is the oldest country in Europe? Email me your best guess at jon@photosNtravel.com. Answer, next month. Last month’s ‘Do You Know’ was … The United Nations recognizes 260 countries in the world. What city has a larger population than 173 of those countries? The answer is Mumbai, India. The Basilica of the Sacred Heart stands high above the city of Paris. The giant clock on the fifth floor of the Musee d’Orsay dwarfs onlookers. Visitors stroll on what was once the railroad tracks in the Musee d’Orsay. 158 Casimir Street, Port Perry 905-985-2268 colleen.anderson@marlintravel.ca MC Call today! Travel in Style – TRY CLUB CLASS TICO #4577532 J’ PARIS