The week of “la rentrée” in Paris continues to be (mostly) rainy and grey, but still a lovely temperature. Although the full-time Parisians tire of the drizzle, this girl from the Land Where It Rarely Rains still loves it. Yesterday I went out for a walk, fully expecting the rain to fall while I was out. Which it did. Paris is still charming in the rain, particularly when there is no cold wind to turn one’s umbrella inside-out.
Monday was the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Paris, and I have really enjoyed learning about that time in this city. In July I went to a wonderful exhibit at the Musée de Carnavalet entitled “Paris Freed, Paris Photographed, Paris Exhibited”. This extensive exhibit gathered photographs, interviews, films, and other documentation of the Resistance and the Liberation. Unfortunately, it was hot in the museum and I was not able to linger as long as I would have liked. However, Tuesday morning I was planning a morning walk around Notre Dame when I remembered that there was another exhibit about the liberation at the Hotel De Ville. I was there early enough to avoid a line, and the building was blessedly cool. The photographs of Paris during its Occupation by the Germans, and of the Parisians who bravely resisted during the weeks preceding the day of liberation, were so moving. There were also many priceless film clips of the time playing on one wall. Just the previous night I had watched on television a two-hour compilation of old film and recent interviews with people who participated in the resistance and the liberation. It was fascinating, despite my lack of understanding of much of what was said. The film clips at the Hotel de Ville were the same ones I had seen in that show, some of which had been explained in the exhibit. I was really happy to have seen the show and to have visited the exhibit on a quiet, cool morning.
After the exhibit I walked toward the river.
The rain began to fall just as I got to Notre Dame.
This long line of tourists were in line for the guided tours up into the bell towers of the church, something I have never done.
The little park next to Notre Dame was fully in bloom.
This poor little bridge is one of the many victims of the “love lock” mania that is defacing and damaging bridges all over the city. A movement has started to stop the locks, but it’s difficult to fight the will of tourists from all over the world who think it’s “de rigueur” to commemorate their love with a lock on a bridge. Please, if you visit, celebrate your love with a kiss or a grope or a bottle of wine on a bridge- anything but a lock!
The sun appeared in my apartment windows later that afternoon, so I walked off to the park with my book, sunglasses, and no umbrella. Of course that meant that after thirty minutes the rain returned, causing me to cut my park visit short. Then, when I was almost home, the sun reappeared. I stopped at Starbucks and snapped up a chair in the sun while I could. Paris weather is nothing if not fickle.
I leave you with these two Metro cuties.
Over and out.