The week before Valentine’s Day 2013, my closest friend in Paris got an interesting email from a professor who was back in Austin. He asked us to find the love lock that he and his wife had fastened to one of 11 locked-bridges in Paris the previous summer. However, the only clue we had to find said lock was a single picture – no specific location, no other details, nothing. This is the story of how we found it.
In true American fashion, we started with a snack. We filled up on crêpes à la confiture (strawberry jam crepes) before embarking on our journey for maximum finding potential.
There were two key deductions that we got from the picture that were essential to our finding of the lock. First, the background of the picture needed to match our view from the bridge. We were looking for a bridge that caught a glimpse of the Eiffel Tower on one side and overlooked the Île de la Cité on the other. Second, the bridge we were looking for was made of a steel, not chain link or wood like some others.
Eventually, we came across the bridge we were looking for – the Pont des Arts. Even though we were at the correct place, there were over 500,000 locks that we had to look through, most of which looked exactly the same. Luckily, we noticed that there was a distinctive red lock next to the one we were looking for. In a matter of minutes, we found our professor’s lock and no doubt made a wonderful Valentine’s day for him and his wife!