It's the contrast that counts. If Paris were uniformly beautiful I would have tired of her long ago. It was an almost perfect evening, spoiled a bit perhaps for being the last night of this visit. We were reluctant to be leaving and it showed in the way we were making our way home by the longest, most romantic route we could think of. The Panthéon came to mind as the 38 bus approached the Luxembourg stop and impulse drove us from the bus onto rue Soufflot. The lit dome of the Pantheon as you turn the corner from Bd St Michel is majestic and dominates the scene. We are in an old part of Paris and can feel her age and grandeur as we walk across the open space of the Place du Panthéon. The streets narrow as you walk past Eglise St Etienne du Mont onto rue de la Montaigne Ste Geneviève. The feeling here is different, closer, more intimate. It is quiet, so quiet you can hear the sounds of history. Ste Geneviève died in 512 and her tomb is here under the Lycée Henri-IV. I often walk down this narrow street alongside the church. It is like a pathway back in time but tonight it is being used for something different. Paris is alive, people live here, and it is in the daily conduct of life, that Paris reveals her true self to me. The earthiness of this scene pleases me here and yet, in the place where I spend most of my life, I would be outraged and cry “merde!” I think it is the differences, the contrasts that count. It is not that the beauty of Paris is not damaged by this earthiness but rather it is the contrast that enhances her appeal.