Then again, when the ground you’re sitting on is the left bank of the Seine, you’re drinking wine and have spent the afternoon eating, drinking, wandering the streets of Paris and cruising the Seine, the moments get slightly more memorable.
Pont Neuf had never been my favourite bridge in Paris, but at night the faces carved along the rim were illuminated, emitting soft light that suddenly made it seem very pretty.
We’d had a half day of classes followed by an afternoon cruise along the Seine ( more on this later). I hadn’t been on a proper touring cruise before but it really is one of the best ways to see a city. You’re far enough away to capture big buildings on camera as well as appreciate the city’s defining skyline which you can’t see from up close. Also, you don’t have to walk it.
Afterwards we went for drinks and dinner. It was one of the first times we did something social together as a group of students from a mix of countries rather than sticking to our safety net of friends from the same country.
As people split off to go their different ways during the late afternoon, we were left with just eight of us sitting by the river. We’d bought plastic cups and a few bottles of (cheap) wine and chatted away while the sun set and enjoyed the beautiful Paris sunset and evening. Despite being almost 11pm, the sky was a bright lavender colour filtered by the clouds. I struggle to think of times I’ve been as relaxed as I was that night. It was more than just being relaxed though, because there was a gentle undercurrent of excitement in the atmosphere for what the month ahead would hold. I had new friends, no worries and was in the middle of one of the most magical cities in the world. It was an evening I’ll never forget.