I walk just a few steps away from Notre Dame, then notice beneath my feet a burnished brass star set in the pavement—Le Point Zero des Routes de France. This spot has been the beginning point for the measurement of all distances from Paris to all other cities since the 1100s.

Point Zero

Point Zero

They say if you touch the star, you will return to France one day. So, like millions have done before me, I lean down and rub the star.