For years I romanticised Paris, overexposed to the idea of its glamorous Hollywood image, depicted as the city that symbolised the ideas of romance, of love.

Not what I expected...

As I explore this city the dreary and gloomy weather only seems to reflect the mood of the citizens and of Paris itself. It's now been a year since the Islamic State attacked Paris and left its people scarred from the horrific acts that they committed. The wounds of the assault still fester on the streets with memorials, flower bouquets and people in tears being frequent sights on my short stay in the city.

Morbid curiosity...

I had a morbid curiosity and desire to experience the atmosphere in the places where these merciless acts of murders took place – as my world back in the United Kingdom was so safe, tame and calm stepping into places like the Bataclan gave me an uncanny sense of danger and vulnerability as I vividly imagined what could've happened there. Trying to better understand the why's and the what's. I could not possibly imagine an acceptable reason for the actions that were taken there and for the Islamic State to have killed 130 people - with many more injured.

At the heart of it, the purpose of terrorists is to strike fear in the hearts of all with the purpose of advancing a radical cause – in Paris where the Islamic State inflicted their unwanted presence on the world.

Fear took over.

Tangible fear...

In a recent interview of the French Prime Minister with Manuel Valls on Hardtalk (BBC World News) with Stephen Sackur. The PM indicated that this is now a new norm for the city – to live in fear of terrorism. Although it was not explicitly said by the PM it was declared that the state of emergency was to be extended again.

With Manuel Valls stating that Parisians are vigilant and resilient and that this new layer of security will go on for a while longer – A “stand” against the Islamic State.

In my short time in Paris I saw a number of security personnel doing a number of extensive security checks before I even got into the Eiffel Tower!

The sight of police officers and heavy armed soldiers is a double-edged sword to show a form of safety and security.

On one hand I did feel safe with the sight of a force ready to combat any civilian threat – at the same time it showed the fear of France. Demonstrating the extent of the effects the terrorists had on the Parisians. Everyday they live in terror and in fear of the next potential attack. Meaning that, ultimately, they achieved their true goal.

Old wounds still fester...

The effects of the attacks on Paris and its citizens – even its national leaders – are undeniably visible. It's almost unfortunate that my romantic ideas of Paris has been overtaken by what the terrorists have done. What was once a symbol for love decimated by people who are they very antithesis of love.