Fantasy Come True
22 March 2014
“Le Gai Paris”. I love Paris at anytime of year, but spring time in Paris is by far my favorite! With winter’s grey skies left behind, the entire city comes alive as the flowers and trees burst out of their winter dormancy making for a bright and cheerful ambiance. All worries may be left behind with a morning walk under the towering trees along the Champs-Elysées. Relaxation is guaranteed with a light picnic of a fresh baguette with cheese and wine on a bench in the magnificently green Jardin du Luxembourg. And romance may surely be renewed with a lovely afternoon stroll through the exuberant Champs de Mars and its Eiffel Tower dominating the skyline.
Our last spring visit to "La Ville-Lumière” was especially enlightening and made for the perfect setting to live out one of our fantasies. From the moment we set eyes on the former Palais d’lena (now the Shangri-La Hotel Paris) our imagination sparked and we set off on a fantasy affair.
The incredibly beautiful edifice would be our “royal palace” where for the next few days we were to be treated as a prince and princess with full rights. As we stood outside admiring its majestic beauty our fantasy nearly overwhelmed us as we could hardly imagine what awaited us beyond the palace doors. Once we caught our breath and passed through the doors we were marvelled by the marble-clad reception area and grand staircase that were impacting and worthy receive to TRH. And that’s just how we felt: like Their Royal Highnesses.
From our private suite balcony we could contemplate a breath-taking view of the majestic Eiffel Tower. Contemplating the Eiffel Tower from “our palace” balcony was only the start of our fantasy-come-true experience. During the day we treated ourselves to leisurely walks through the regal gardens and colorful streets of the city, stopping now and then to savour an exquisite pâtisserie or other delights in a café or on a street-side terrace. Then, each evening as we approached “our palace” we prepared ourselves for a grand entrance and reception as TRH Prince and Princess of Shangri-La.
On our last day we took a romantic walk along the River Seine in the early afternoon. A cool breeze blew across the water and lightly caressed our foreheads. The flowering trees enlightened the air with their sweet aroma and left us awestricken by their delicate beauty. But we were not the only ones attracted to their sweet flowering delicacy; the glowing buds had several busy, buzzing visitors bouncing from bloom to bloom. We were amazed by the variety of creatures that we could find buzzing around the branches.
One visitor in particular caught our eye. What appeared to be a tiny hummingbird graciously floated from blossom to blossom of the tree branches. It would hover for several seconds over an open flower, gently insert its slender bill into the blossom’s interior and then swiftly glide to another flower to collect its fill of nectar.
Having never seen a hummingbird in Europe, I had my doubts as to what we had fantastically witnessed. So that evening back in our luxurious suite of the palace while we sat on our private balcony to enjoy our last fantasy evening, I began to wonder again if we had really seen a hummingbird. Of course, my thoughts were often distracted by the magnificent view of the Eiffel Tower illuminated before me and that seemed to be within touching distance. But somehow I was able to discover with the help of my iPad what we had really seen hovering about the blossoming tree branches. It turned out to be a kind of moth, a “hummingbird moth”, commonly found throughout southern Europe.
With the mystery solved, our fantasy was coming to its end. It was time to shed our royal titles and leave our beloved palace. Thank you Shangri-La for our Fantasy Come True.