Monday, December 28, 2009

Cold Clear Christmas

It's not our holiday, but for the first time in years we weren't spending Christmas with our dear friends in Berkeley.  The old standby of a movie seemed the thing to do, but it was too beautiful a day to spend in a darkened theater.  We needed a walk along the river in the bright light and crisp air.

The sun played a bit of peek-a-boo, throwing shadows one minute and erasing them the next.  We even had a few moments of rain until the clouds passed and the sun returned.  We kept on walking and reveling in how clean and simple everything looked.  There were few cars, fathers were carrying their small children on their shoulders, church bells were ringing.

The quais were full of tourists near Notre Dame but empty just a block away.  Languages bounced around our ears as we moved through the crowd: Spanish, Polish, Dutch, Italian, French, Russian, all within 100 feet.  Parisians were spending the holiday with family; we visitors were the ones out walking.  The line to get into Notre Dame moved quickly, but we had no desire to go indoors yet.

Passing behind Notre Dame we moved onto the Ile St-Louis, where the always-open cafés on the corner were closed up tight.  A man and his dog were investigating the two swans and several ducks at the foot of the ramp to the water.  The birds seemed more interested in them than the reverse.

Berthillon, the famous ice cream purveyor, had decorated their building from top to bottom, but weren't open for business.

Not everyone was taking the holiday off however.  This bouquiniste thought it was worth opening his bins to what passing trade there might be,

while below him along the water two joggers in bright pink kept to what was probably a daily routine.

We did finally get to the movie, by the way.  The Meryl Streep vehicle "It's Complicated" is called "Pas Si Simple" here.  


Karin B (Looking for Ballast) said...

Lovely photos, as always! I really like the Berthillion one. So pretty!

I really had a sense of peace from reading this post: the quiet of a Paris at rest on a holiday. I am so glad you got out to enjoy the day.

I'm hoping to catch the movie this coming week. It looks good!

Ken Broadhurst said...

Those ducks and swans were looking for a handout!