|Love locks on Pont de l'Archevêché with Notre Dame in the background|
Hubby and I are not very romantic. Our 21st wedding anniversary was the day before our trip. His gift to me was Googling "Roses" on his iPhone, finding some pictures of said roses, and showing them to me. I gave him a thermos. Yes, a thermos. Folks, this is what decades of marriage does to a couple. But we turned to each other and said, "Paris! We're going to Paris!" And then we headed to the bedroom to... finish packing our luggage and attempt to get a good night's sleep before our redeye flight the next day.
That's why our visit to the Love Locks bridge in Paris was uncharacteristic for us. It's so very romantic. Brass and nickel are actually the traditional 21st anniversary wedding gift, so I made sure we picked out a brass lock. See, we can play by the rules after all.
My first glimpse of a love locks bridge was during our boat ride on the Seine River. The railings in the distance started glimmering in the afternoon sun. I thought it was some sort of elaborate, guilded ornamentation at first. Nope, it was an array of locks.
|A different bridge with love locks|
Couples write or engrave their names on a padlock, attach it to the bridge and then throw the key in the Seine. (Note: Combination locks are not as romantic. There's nothing to throw, and they remind me of high school lockers.) The lock symbolizes the permanence of the relationship, at least until the Parisian authorities start moaning about the locks ruining the architectural heritage of the bridges and order them to be cut off. When the big clean up happened to a number of bridges in 2010, the locks immediately started appearing on the Pont de l'Archevêché again. Love triumphs over all!
|Celebrating 21 years of marital bliss with a padlock. At least it's not a ball and chain.|
When we were there, the bridge was so chock full of locks that it was difficult to find an empty spot to hang our own lock. This is obviously a popular tradition, and you can buy a lock nearby if you forgot to bring one. The kids enjoyed looking for unusual locks such as the one shaped like a turtle. When I saw the one with "Two Drifters Out to See the World" scratched into it, I thought of two backpackers pledging their eternal love right there in the same spot where I was standing.
|My son is trying to find the lock we just finished attaching to the bridge.|
The kids wanted to hang locks, too but were stymied by the fact that none of them are in a permanent romantic relationship. (Thank goodness!!) Actually, my daughter has her eye on a couple boys, but we claimed hanging multiple locks was not in the spirit of the tradition. My boy suggested hanging one with his name and then "______" next to it for him to come back in the future and fill in. We also nixed that idea. They tried to remember the exact location of hubby's and my lock to show their own kids one day. How sweet!
Love locks are showing up in other parts of Paris. In fact, you can find them all over the world. Perhaps there's one near you.
|Love lock on the Eiffel Tower overlooking Paris|
This post is part of "Travel Photo Thursday" on Budget Travelers Sandbox, "Oh, the Places I've Been!" on The Tablescaper, "Sunday Traveler" on Ice Cream and Permafrost, and "Friday Daydreamin'" on R We There Yet Mom? Check them out for more around-the-world Travel Inspiration.