Mad About Paris, Much more than a guide
Paris in winter is quite an unsung tale. We know “April in Paris” or Paris “au mois de mai”, yet the most amazing time of the year is Christmas, the 25th of December: no traffic, no people, it’s just the city – and you.
High-water flooded the bed of the Seine river on the morning of Christmas Day, right at the time of the grand gift-giving, meaning that the city was empty of people, empty of cars. Just a few tourists were walking around Ile St. Louis, along the banks of the river, I met a group of Chinese tourists who had no idea of Christmas at all happily taking photos…it was a splendid, silent, sunlit morning.
I rode my bycicle through deserted streets in order to get some sort of workout after a feast complete with oysters, foie gras and a bûche-de-Noel-biscuit-role made by Pierre Hermé the holy night before.
The cold, fresh air woke me up again, in fact, I didn’t think of sight-seeing – when the Paris magic struck again. There they were again: the “Conciergerie”, the “Palais de Justice”, N0tre-Dame like in a splendid movie where technicians manipulate the lighting with computers and sophisticated algorythms.
But this was real: natural sunlight over ancient buildings, the play of shadows on facades made of real stone… You know, living in Paris means being surprised every now and then – and over and over again – by the sheer beauty the French capital displays. After a while you think you get used to the sight of Notre-Dame for instance and this is true for, say, 235 days of the year…but on the 236th you pass by the cathedral again, just by chance, and you’re struck, yes, you’re dumbfounded by it as if you were passing by for the very first time in your life. This happened to me on Christmas Day. I wished you were here to share.