The Great European Adventure

The Rooftops of Paris

Paris, November 2012
Paris, November 2012

When I think of Paris, I picture these gray-blue rooftops and their red-orange chimneys.

Of course, I also picture the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, the Arc de Triomphe, and a whole host of other prominent landmarks. These places are so iconic, such a part of our cultural consciousness, I could picture them before I’d ever visited Paris. I remember my mother and I were so surprised to see Parisians walking the streets of their city wearing berets and carrying baguettes that we started to keep a tally. The behavior seemed too obviously, stereotypically French to be real, and yet there it was.

Conversely, no one had ever told me about the rooftops of Paris. The blue rooves and red chimneys were stunning, and as it turned out, a common architectural feature. Common enough that I now think of the above photo as being iconic, quintessential Paris.

When you think of Paris, what do you picture?

Emma Holliday is well-traveled. After 5 years in Boston, she and her husband upended their lives to move to Berlin where she is currently writing a (funny) book about travel and grief and attempting to learn German.


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