Paris snow: a dream come true

I’ve always wanted to see Paris under a blanket of snow, but have always missed it — sometimes by a matter of hours. So imagine my delight when the blue skies that greeted me and Esteban a few days ago turned a heavy lead gray.

Balcony view 1160408 BLOG

Ile St Louis 1160944 CL BLOG

At first the flakes were big and deceptively fluffy (because instead of landing softly they hit you in the eyes with a big wet SPLAT). Even by Minnesota standards, it was pretty miserable.

Miserable Paris snow 1170883 BLOG

Cluny snow 1170016 BLOG

Notre Dame in snow 1170078 CL BLOG

But the tourists made the best of it by donning festive headwear.

Eskimos 1170924 BLOG

Paris hats 1170874 BLOG

I was especially smitten with the lovely shy young woman in the métro whose knit cap reminded me to “STOP FREEZING.”

Stop freezing 1180526 BLOG

It snowed again the next morning — but this time, everything got coated in fine dust.

Paris in snow 1170981 BLOG

Ile de la Cité 1170691 CC BLOG

Institut de France 1170655 CC BLOG

Henri IV statue 1170556 CL BLOG

At one point Esteban and I saw what looked like a red umbrella convention on the Pont Marie.

Red umbrella brigade 1170990 CL BLOG

But I liked it better when they all departed, save this lone woman.

Ile St Louis 1180011 COMPOSITE BLOG

I bet you can see where this is going: Yes, it snowed again. With gusto!

Notre Dame in snow 1180061 CL BLOG

Taxi Parisien 1180305 BLOG

Plane trees 1180749 BLOG

Notre Dame in snow 1180117 CL2 BLOG

Beaurepaire 1180202 BLOG

Buildings Ile de la Cite 1180157 BLOG

Café de la Paix 1180524 BLOG

Petit Pont snow 1180230 BLOG

Although the streets were icy, it would be an exaggeration to say they were impassible.

Pont d'Arcole snow 1180310 BLOG

Pont d'Arcole commuter 1180311 BLOG

But it’s no exaggeration to say that the quays along the river were impassible. I needed a bathroom so desperately that I actually gauged the water’s depth at one point. (I concluded it was better to turn back and walk an extra mile than to wade through armpit-deep Seine sludge.)

Flooded Seine 1170778 BLOG

I was glad for my decision, if only because it put me in the direct path of a wolf. And I do mean a literal, living wolf.

Wolf in Paris 1170798 BLOG

He was ENORMOUS, but playful and gentle. I was taken aback for a moment when he reared up and planted his cold, wet nose on my forehead. “Oh! He kissed you!” exclaimed his owner. “Now you must kiss him back.” It’s not every day you come home from your morning stroll with wolf breath.

Wolf in Paris 1170801 BLOG

Above the Square du Vert Galant …

Vert Galant 1180562 BLOG

… there were tourists attaching “locks of love” to the already overburdened railings as fast as they were being removed, just a few feet away.

Locks of love 1180567 BLOG

Locks of love removal 1180569 BLOG

And although I was disappointed the rooftop terraces of both the Printemps and Galeries Lafayette department stores were closed due to the weather, I still got an OK view of the snowy city from the cafeteria …

Galeries Lafayette 1180481 BLOG

… and a sublime view of the 1912 stained-glass dome at Galeries Lafayette.

Galeries Lafayette 1180416 BLOG

Galeries Lafayette 1180488 BLOG

But now the sun is out again, so I must excuse myself and go work on my tan.

Back with more news from Paris soon …










  1. You can tell a real Minnesotan when she wishes to sample the snow in other parts of the world with a true connoisseur’s eye. Lovely photos, as always.

    And am I too much of an economics geek when I look at your scenes with the padlocks on the bridge and wonder just how much European lock manufacturers benefit from this unfillable demand? I know, what a romantic, right?

    • You are so right, JP — I didn’t realize I’d “rated and graded” the snow until you pointed it out! I suppose it’s just one more example of how we tend to see the world through the lens of our experience.

      As for the padlocks: I don’t think you’re a geek at all for wondering about the economic forces at play there. I wonder about it too, though I usually get stuck on what a monumental waste of money and natural resources it is. (Though people in love seldom seem to care about economics or ecology, I find.)

    • I’m so glad you enjoyed the photos — and thank you for your kind words! There are plenty of distressing things in Paris (as in any large city), but it seems to this casual observer that most of the leaders here are at least *trying* to make a positive difference. There will certainly be some challenges ahead, though … and in this Paris is not alone.

  2. I am SO jealous! I absolutely adore Paris and while I am ready for Summer, I have to say, I would totally deal with more snow if it meant experiencing it in Paris. Your pictures (as always) are stunning and these seem exceptionally stunning! I am hope you are having the absolute best time! ❤

    • What a sweet note, Kate. I wish you were here with me! We actually are having the absolute best time — though I fear I’m going to need to shop for bigger jeans for the trip home, LOL. And thank you for the kind words about my photos. I’ve been in a bit of a photographic funk, so I greatly appreciate the encouragement.

    • What more could I want? For you and Melanie to be here too! Seriously, Tom. We’re having the most marvelous time …

    • I was apprehensive about the wolf’s size too, Bella, but the way he approached me, with a soft gaze and gently wagging his tail told me there was nothing to worry about.

      And those locks: What a huge amount of metal, right? Couples have been doing this for years but the weight of the metal has actually caused structural problems for some of the bridges in Paris.

    • Thank you for your kind words, Marcus. I was in a bit of a funk because the photos really don’t do the experience justice … but your compliment makes me feel a bit better. And I do hope you’ll get to see this beautiful city under snow someday — it’s extra-magical with a few white highlights. My best to you, and thank you so much for stopping by.

    • You write the most witty comments, Xpat! And I do hope you will get to see this particularly beautiful version of Paris someday. Bring warm clothes, though — I was frankly surprised by the cold!

  3. Bonjour Heide. How wonderful to see all your gorgeous photo’s of Paris sprinkled with snow. Simply magical, each and every moment. I very much love the Red Umbrella’s as well as Lone Red Umbrella. These two images, along with the Red Door photo would make a wonderful mini gallery grouping. Just thinking out loud. Do you ever frame your photo’s? They’re so sublime. Your attire made me laugh. Are the fluffy hoods part of the raincoat?

    Your photo’s of the domed ceiling in the gorgeous Galeries Lafayette made me smile. While shopping there, I found a large diamond ring on the counter of the Ladies Room. Someone had removed it to wash her hands and there it remained. I immediately found a sales counter and tried to explain. The sales woman seemed to finally understand and put it in her till. I hope the poor woman who’d left it there got it back. Only in Paris, oui! xK

    • Oh, how you make me beam with your kind words! I’m really honored and pleased you like my photos so much. I should clarify though that I don’t appear in any of the photos (and am certainly not dressed as an Eskimo) — by “we” I meant all of us tourists. But since it’s unclear I should probably edit that.

      And how kind of you to turn in that diamond ring! I join you in hoping it found its owner — because sometimes they do! I did the same thing with my class ring many. many years ago and some kind soul actually tracked me down through my initials, school name, and graduation year.

      Anyway. Thank you so much for coming along on this adventure! And thanks once more for making my day with your kind words. xo

    • WOW THAT WOLF is right! I’m still referring to the photos periodically to make sure I didn’t dream it. 🙂 And thank you for your kind words about the photos. I appreciate the compliment from a fine photographer!

  4. You’re in Paris?! Wish I could pop over and come and say hello! Enjoy, and thank you for sharing your little slice of Paris with us. Love how you wrote Paris in the snow. 🙂

    • Oh, how I wish you could pop over and say hello too, dear Rochelle! We’re having the most marvelous time. I can’t take any credit for that lovely handwriting, though — I’ve tried to learn that beautiful French script, but to no avail. Good thing some kind, creative French person happened by before me, eh? 🙂

    • I very much hope you will have the opportunity someday … it really is as special and unique as people say. Thank you so much for stopping by!

  5. First blog I’ve read! I was just gonna peak and I seen the name esteban! That is my husband’s name lol I know it’s silly but in had to continue reading! Great great pics!

    • Thank you so much for stopping by … I’m really honored to be your first blog read! Clearly you are a person of exceptional taste since you also married an Esteban. 🙂

  6. These are brilliant photographs, you certainly have photographic talent, I have a daughter, son-in-law and 2 grandchildren as well as a son in Paris. I just wish I could be with them.

    Thank you for your wonderful work

    • What a kind comment … thank you, Katy! I wish you could be in Paris with your loved ones too, but am honored and happy that my posts at least give you a little taste of this beautiful city. My very best to you!

  7. Heide, your photos are WONDERFUL, but on the other hand, I’m so totally and utterly fed up with winter scenes. I want the promised spring to be here!
    And how anybody coming from your corner of ‘cold’ wishing to be in Paris when it snows is another big unanswered question in my life!!!! 🙂

    • I’m sorry you’re fed up with winter scenes, Kiki. 😦
      As for your question: My enthusiasm isn’t about the snow, it’s about PARIS in the snow. It’s a completely different experience than anything I get at home, so it doesn’t at all feel like “more of the same.”

  8. What a magical sight, if not a bit impractical to getting around. These are lovely shots. You’re giving me ideas. 🙂
    I hope the recent strike didn’t inconvenience you.

    • I’m giving YOU ideas? Wow. What a compliment, coming from you! Thank you, Mr. Draco. And thank you also for your kind thoughts. A friend warned us about the strike, so we were able to take precautions and stick close to home. As we often joke, “No vacation in Paris is complete without a strike or riot!” LOL.

  9. Exquisite photos! Too many to comment on, and all so beautiful “)) Did especially like the one woman with red umbrella outstanding in foreground to the snow touched building – wonderful. Life gives us art all the time.

  10. Excelente trabalho. Muito sucesso pra você. Obrigado por essa viagem fotográfica. Conheci Paris sob neve hahahahah.

  11. That photo with the red door is a show-stopper, Heidebee! You could make up your own series of Paris postcards. I love your eye for detail. You look at things with such a fresh perspective, always managing to avoid the cliche. So you’ve been kissed by a wolf on a snowy street in Paris. Best of luck topping that story! xo

  12. I have the terrible desire of following you around and looking through the lens of your camera as you take each shot! I’m sure Esteban would be appalled!

    I’ve been advised that July is the perfect month to visit Europe…not too hot and steamy, or rainy and dreary.

    Good advice in your opinion?

    • Esteban laughed when I read him your comment … but no reply on whether he would be appalled. 🙂

      As for July: I think it depends entirely on where you’re going. Southern Italy will be scorching already by then, but Scandinavia should be lovely. What cities/countries are you and your hubby eyeing?

        • Northern France and Germany should be fine in July, but the southern regions may be a bit toastier (in the upper 80s, perhaps). Still … as you say, you’d avoid all the spring showers! I’ll be eager to hear where you land in your negotiations. 😀

    • Thank you, Simon! I wasn’t sure i loved it at first because it’s a bit of a cliché, but it has become one of my favorites from this trip.

    • Thank you so much, Suzanne! I am honored that such an accomplished photographer as yourself liked my images.

  13. Well, that was a rather long scroll
    down the comments on your Paris-stroll!
    Ha.Couldn’t resist that. It seems a lot of people love Paris!

    Heide these images are all lovely but some are just GORGEOUS! Icing sugar, Galeries Lafayette, rooftops, bench architecture ,the LIGHT! This post actually made me smile! Really, smile! And I have been having the most frustrating, angry-making day so thank you – you have no idea what a relief that was 🙂

    • … and now it’s me who is beaming with the thought of having brightened your day. Thank you for your kind words! I hope the frustrating, angry-making elements of your day will go away and let you enjoy the rest of the weekend. xx

  14. Im not sure how I missed this post. Paris and snow. sounds so romantic and the lone red umbrella. The wolf knew you are a lovely person hence the kiss!….ah..My sister Paula the middle one has been to Paris for Christmas/New Year and was lucky enough to enjoy the snow. Maybe one day…I will

    • Oh, how I hope one day you’re able to see Paris in the snow too! It really is every bit as romantic as it sounds — providing you don’t have to get across town in a hurry to meet a prospective employer, ha ha. Thank you so much for stopping by!

Leave a reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s