My mom had always dreamed of going to Paris. So after I moved to the Netherlands, she saw a visit here as the perfect starting point to go there. She hasn’t travelled that much and wouldn’t dream of going somewhere outside of Sweden on her own, so we took her (together with my younger brother). After that we’ve been back twice (?), and she’s still infatuated with the city.
My first visit to the city on the other hand was a bit of a disaster. I went with a friend and we had completely different expectations on what should/would happen on a city trip and it lead to some friction. I took this out on Paris and thought “meh”. But then the next time – that’s the time we took mom – it was like a different city to me. (Lesson: make sure you talk to friends about what you both expect before travelling with them.)
Most of this is probably in my mind, but this is how I experience Paris: it’s a city that still cares about people. Sure we make fun of the French and their strikes (“tractors on the highways again? Seriously?”), but people take the time to stop for a coffee, meet up for dinner and buying freshly baked bread. And I like old buildings.