(WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge: Off Season)
On a family trip to Paris two summers ago, we walked across one of the city’s “love bridges,” the historic Pont de l’Archeveche, near Notre Dame cathedral. Couples have been writing their names on padlocks, attaching them to the handrails of this bridge, and throwing the keys into the Seine in gestures of their eternal love since… well, since only 2008.
That’s not a very long time in the history of Paris, but long enough that the bridge had been completely covered. The rails were so crowded there were padlocks attached to padlocks. Not very romantic in my opinion, but my daughters disagreed, so in the spirit of love, I pulled them in for a kiss. You can see how that went. The bridge is for the season of romantic love, you see, not maternal love.
I love this picture —it’s one of my favorites from that trip — and hope my daughters don’t mind me sharing.
The Paris love bridges were in the news just this month because the padlocks are being taken down. The weight of all that love was just too much. Not long after this photo was taken, a five-foot section of the one of the other “love bridges,” the Pont d’Arts near the Louvre, collapsed. That was enough for Paris to call it quits. Officials are now removing the locks (45 tons of them apparently) and replacing them with glass panels. Historic preservationists cheered. Romantics lamented.