I had only a few days to visit Paris in November 2004 so, despite the grey, rainy weather, I tried to make the most of it. This wasn't my first trip to Paris; far from it, but it's one of those cities that you can keep exploring for years. Paris always reminds me of a grandmother's many-tiered jewel box that's kept in the attic; everytime you venture a trip to look into it, you find another undiscovered gem.
This particular night, it had been raining hard and when it finally stopped for a few minutes, I wandered out to walk along the rain-slicked streets, almost devoid of other pedestrians. When I saw the lighted Eiffel Tower, I stopped to take a photo and just as I snapped, the tower's laser-like white beacon suddenly swung through the fog, momentarily illuminating the night sky. It was one of those solitary moments of serendipity that keeps you coming back to Paris. The city has a vibrancy, sophistication and simplicity that doesn't exist in combination anywhere else in the world.