But, if you happen to see Paris with someone you love, one is all the more lucky.
On the day we were headed to Musee d'Orsay (subject of a future post), our host Jerry went out early and came in with an unusual gift. It was a padlock.
He explained that there was a tradition in Paris called "love locks." Couples inscribed their names or initials on padlocks and attached them to one of the city's bridges, then tossed the key in the Seine.
While there is more than one Parisian bridge associated with "love locks" (including the Pont des Arts), he recommended Passage Soferino, a bridge connecting the Tuileries on the right bank with the Musee d'Orsay on the left.
The bridge itself is interesting. Rather than connecting to the street, it is clearly a footbridge. One climbs wooden steps to the bridge (and I have to say, going over the steps with the water under me was a bit unnerving!)
The "sides" of the bridge are made of metal wire mesh and it is here the locks are hung.
Rick put our initials on our padlock and I used some of the pretty ribbons and gold cord Jerry gave me to make it a bit more obvious, so we cold find it again!
A bit of post-Paris research revealed that the love locks are periodically removed at night by city officials, due to their weight. And, according to Parisian officials, "they raise problems for the preservation of our architectural heritage."
They locks started appearing in European cities in the early 2000s and range from bike locks to heavy metal. They can be found on several bridges.
We connected our lock to the fence and then tossed the key in the Seine, symbolizing a love to last forever.
Our "key" rests in the Seine, facing the Eiffel Tower.
It is one of many, just as there are many loves in the world. But it is ours.
Later in our trip, on our final evening walk in Paris, we revisited the bridge -- our lock was still there.
So are we.
TIPS on LOVE LOCKS
You can buy your lock at a hardware store, but enterprising vendors are waiting on the bridge to offer you the opportunity to purchase one there.
In addition to Soferino, I am told there are locks on the Pont de l'Archevêché, a bridge which crosses from Notre-Dame Cathedral to the Left Bank of the Seine.
REMEMBER! This and other posts from this European vacation, which date back to early May, are entered into my "800th Post" drawing. We'll also include upcoming posts on the Netherlands and London. Each comment is your "entry."
Welcome to visitors from the blog party, "Paris In July" hosted by Bookbath and Thyme for Tea. You can find links to all the Paris in July posters by clicking HERE or on the Paris in July image on the right sidebar.