Monday, January 29, 2018

ROBBLOG #693 Is Paris Burning?

Paris isn't burning.
Not this time, however one of my favourite cities is dealing with high water levels.
Not entirely swamping the swank shops along the Champs Elysees but the Seine is rising and to think many Canadians believe that Vancouver Island is the wettest spot on earth.
No. Wrong.
As a matter of fact this Cowichan Valley where we live is in a Mediterranean climate zone with the valley sheltered by mountains such as Mount Prevost, Genoa, Sicker and Tsouhalem. We have less rain than Miami and Toronto.
Hennaway, there's poor Paris.
Poor damp, wet Paris.
They've had quite a few showers these past weeks and the waters are up high enough to stop the riverboats from plying their tourist trade. With all the bridges throughout Paris, the boats just couldn't fit under.
The Eiffel Tower at night from the Seine
There's a statue known as The Zouave on the Pont de L'Alma. "Pont" is bridge in French in case you were stumped as to the meaning of the word "pont". It's a soldier from the Crimean War. The folks of Paris use the statue to measure rain. I am sure there's a ruler or two to be found in a French schoolboy's desk but in Paris they use a statue to measure water levels. When Seine waters rise to his boots, tour boats stop operation.
The water was almost waist high over the weekend. Back in 1910 only The Zouave's head and shoulders could be seen above the Seine's waters.
Mon dieux!
I would expect Parisiennes still go about their day as per normal.
A coffee at a favourite café. Dinner in a restaurant spectaculaire. A nice glass of vin. A stroll along the streets in Saint Germaine de Pres.
This is a city that survived the Nazis after all. What's a bit of water going to do to the spirit of Paris?Why, even Mona gave the invaders the middle finger salute. In Paris, citizens pretended that the Nasty boys from Berlin didn't exist. Eventually the Nazi tide rolled away and Paris returned to normal.
Mona posed for Me- from behind humidity-controlled, protective glass
A bit of water might cause a lower gallery or two to close at the Louvre. The McDonalds employees in the shopping centre beneath it's culture-filled rooms might be on the lookout for water seeping through the cracks of the old stone walls but it's likely to be business as usual.
Deux Big Macs s'il vous plais.
Gee, I miss Paris.
It's been a year December since my last visit. The Mister and I were in London in November/December and we took a side trip of a day and a half duration to the City of Lights. The Eurostar makes a convenient two hour train trip from St Pancreas in London to Paris Nord.
It's a real delight.
Le Depart in Saint-Michel
A few stops on the Metro to the Musee d'Orsay and our Hotel D'Orsay on a street just behind the museum. We check in, freshen up and we're ready to head straight to Le Depart St. Michel for a coffee- hot chocolate for Tom, and a decadent chocolate dessert. Over my shoulder as I sip my café, Notre Dame stands  on the Ile de la Cite in the fourth Arrondissement.
Every time I see the sites of Paris I have to pinch myself.
Is this the Paris in the picture books?
The one with La Tour de Eiffel? Victor Hugo Place, The Marais, The Louvre, L'Arc de Triomphe.
Yes, it is.
Every time we visit I am in awe.
I hope the waters recede and Paris dries out- yet again.
It wouldn't be Paris without those Riverboats sailing along, filled with tourists listening to the
same old "tour guide spiel" through the same old crackly speakers.
Ahh Paris.
Je t'aime.