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.
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.
But the tourists made the best of it by donning festive headwear.
I was especially smitten with the lovely shy young woman in the métro whose knit cap reminded me to “STOP FREEZING.”
It snowed again the next morning — but this time, everything got coated in fine dust.
At one point Esteban and I saw what looked like a red umbrella convention on the Pont Marie.
But I liked it better when they all departed, save this lone woman.
I bet you can see where this is going: Yes, it snowed again. With gusto!
Although the streets were icy, it would be an exaggeration to say they were impassible.
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.)
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.
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.
Above the Square du Vert Galant …
… there were tourists attaching “locks of love” to the already overburdened railings as fast as they were being removed, just a few feet away.
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 …
… and a sublime view of the 1912 stained-glass dome at Galeries Lafayette.
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 …