I’ve dreamt about traveling to France since I was a young girl. I remember afternoons spent watching travel shows on TV or camped out in the travel section at the local bookstore pouring over maps and guidebooks and beautiful pictures.
Last January that dream finally came true with a week holiday in Paris. I loved every moment, out walking, exploring and seeing as much of the city as I could each day.
Time after time I came face to face with so many of the great works of art and architecture that I had studied and dreamt about seeing while in graduate school. Nowhere did I realize so clearly that my dreams were becoming reality as when I stood one chilly morning in front of the Cathedral of Notre-Dame.
There it was it all its Gothic splendor right in front of me. A myth suddenly became something so real I could touch it.
Inside, the sudden hush of the visitors awed by such beauty, the vivid colors of the sunlight pouring through the stained glass are still part memory and dream for me. Walking around the winter gardens surrounding Notre-Dame my eyes darted back and forth from the towers to the flying buttresses to the famous gargoyles high above as the church bells began to ring.
Having dreamt about it for so long, it was hard to say when exactly my dreams of Paris ended and my experience in real Paris began. In fact, there is still something dreamlike about my memories of places like Notre-Dame, something that has made my time there as magical as the city itself.
On my writing desk sits a small, metal statue of Notre-Dame, a daily reminder of the importance of dreams and how they just do sometimes come true.
Laura Thayer is an art historian and freelance writer living on the Amalfi Coast in Campania, Italy. She blogs about life on the Amalfi Coast at her own site Ciao Amalfi.
* All photos in this post are copyright, Laura Thayer, Ciao Amalfi!