In Paris, the bridge behind Notre Dame is now jammed with locks! It's often been covered with padlocks placed by les visiteurs, but I've never seen so many at once. The bridge is weighed down with locks of every description, meant to symbolise undying love and affection. Keys to the padlocks typically are tossed into the Seine; the bottom of the river must be covered with the tiny mementoes.
From time to time the City of Paris removes the locks, as they're considered a health and safety risk. But many, many pedestrians - struck by the romance of the gesture - add their own padlocks. And soon, the bridge's mesh siding is again bursting with declarations of love.
Some of the locks are quite elaborate, featuring engraved names or initials and tied with ribbons, handmade lanyerns or plastic ties. Other locks simply were liberated from suitcases and handbags. If you're strolling along and have the sudden urge to add your own lock, you might purchase one (at an inflated price) from two men standing on the bridge, their pockets bulging with padlocks. Whether or not they'll be allowed to continue their entreprenurial efforts is anybody's guess.
Even the emergency rescue sign - in case of an accident or fall into the River Seine - is obscured by the locks.
Across the bridge a young couple pauses to admire a photograph.
An accordion player/jazz singer at work, despite grey skies. Ah, Paris! Always a pleasure.
Related post: A lock on love