Sunday, January 20, 2008

Paris at Dawn

Up early this morning, so while the rest of Paris slept, I explored.

It is still dark at around 7:30. The police guards behind the Hotel Matignon are conversing animatedly in the dark; usually they stand there stone-faced and silent. Rue du Bac is quiet and clean. The sidewalk cleaners have already made their rounds.

Crossing the Pont Royal, I notice this administration building of the Louvre. What were those two circles of light coming from the attic windows? Does someone live up there?
Normally when I think of the expanse of courtyard at the Louvre, I envision lines of tourists snaking around the entrance, hundreds of others posing for snapshots in front of the Pyramide. It is refreshing to have a pure, uncluttered glimpse. It looks like a giant ice sculpture.

The stillness of the Palais Royal echoes softly. Only a few morning joggers break the silence.

Time to check my future in the crystal ball. (Okay, it's chrome.)Crystal ball tells me that I definitely require more café au lait; time to start heading home. No cafés open on the Place Colette.
A few more early birds have arrived at the Louvre.
The Café Marly is ready for its first customers. Almost.

The Ile de la Cité looks like an oil painting. Paris is waking up.


Anonymous said...

These pictures are so gorgeous. The ones in the Palais Royal particularly tugged at my heartstrings, as that's one of my favorite places in Paris. That early morning blush that you captured so well in your shots evokes so many fond memories.


materfamilias said...

What a lovely morning wander -- I've been dreaming about Paris springtime, but you've shown a lovely Paris in winter. Wish I could take such great shows in the low-light conditions.

Parisienne Mais Presque said...

Reminds me of the Jacques Dutronc song, "Il est cinq heures, Paris s'éveille."

Nice that at this time of year you don't actually have to get up at five to see Paris wake up.

lady jicky said...

I felt like I was walking around with you. I wonder if there was someone in the Lourve! Anything gone missing??? LOL

Polly-Vous Francais said...

I wish you could all have been there with me! Early morning is just magical.

Anonymous said...

As to the 2 circles of light in that Louvre building, if it's the one along Rue de Rivoli then it is actually part of the Musée des Arts Décoratifs and probably just light emanating from one of the unusual exhibits there. I was just there for the first time in the past two weeks and took a photo from within that roof-top tower looking out toward Concorde and La Défense.

Polly-Vous Francais said...

Hi Lisa,

Actually it was the wing right next to the Pont des Arts, on the quai Francois Mitterand -- it's an admin building, I'm pretty sure. These circles are from little windows way way up in the top, just under the roof line (sorry you can't see it so well in the photo).

I love Musee des Arts Decoratifs, too! I didn't know you could get all the way up to the tower. Cool!

Patricia said...

All I can say is THANK YOU!!
What a wistfully beautiful post to view first thing in the morn.

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