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Is Paris more Beautiful in the Rain?

This feels like a good subject to ponder as I publish my new book about Paris although I have a feeling I will be writing more about Paris in the future – the story is not fully told nor has it ended. At the end of ‘Midnight in Paris’ Gil and his new love Gabrielle head off to a new beginning and they walk across the Seine on Pont Alexandre III unconcerned by the falling rain, in fact to them ‘Paris is more beautiful in the rain’. Whether Hemingway ever shared the same romantic vision of Paris we do not know though somehow I doubt that he did.

Paris in the Rain

So, the question remains – Is Paris more beautiful in the rain? I can say that I am a considerable authority on the matter as I have been caught in many a heavy downpour in the city. Paris is quite an open city and it is really a matter of chance as to whether you may find any shelter and that may also cloud your judgement on the matter. The rain does certainly offer a different perspective in Paris and it changes in character more than anywhere else I have been when the streets and probably you are very wet.

The first time we were caught in the rain was on the Champs-Élysées and the downpour came on very suddenly. We were crossing over, a difficult manoeuvre at the best of times, from Ladurée to the opposite side when the heavens opened. By the time we had crossed and hid beneath a tree we were extremely wet. Strangely though it did not seem to matter to me and with my photographers eye I felt compelled to reach for my camera and capture the moment. Niamh was not quite so enthusiastic and she ran across the pavement and into H & M, not quite so romantic as she can go in an H & M store anywhere but I stayed to watch the rain on the street. I captured a moment and it was one of my favourite shots of Paris so it was so far so good as regards my feeling about the rain in Paris – it looked atmospheric to me that day. I caught up with Niamh who was standing in a small puddle of water in H & M and she was unimpressed.

Niamh was equally unimpressed the second time we got a Paris soaking. On arrival at the Gard du Nord the weather was grey but mild and fine. I suggested that as we were early we could walk to our hotel located just off the Rue Rivoli. We were near to the Hotel de Ville when the cloud burst came and my reputation for forecasting the weather was shattered. As we came into the square a loud commotion started up. All we could see was a throng of people in the square holding placards, shouting and blowing ear splitting horns. Police were manoeuvring them quite roughly towards one corner of the space and right past where we had entered the square. We wisely stepped back but there was no cover from the rain and also no way of retreating or going forward. After what seemed an age we managed to sneak behind the last line of Police and away down the side of the square and threaded our way to our hotel and a hot shower. Not a terribly romantic moment.

Soaking number three was one I describe more fully in the book when we emerged from Invalides Metro station to a very open air view of Les Invalides after a journey from Montmartre – not one of my better plans. We ended up in Les Recruitment Café in a state of total dishevelment and I can say without hesitation that it was the wettest I have been fully clothed. The same applied to all the party I had led there. I did not ask them whether Paris was more beautiful in the rain.

The fourth time was more of a fine drizzle – if you are English you will be aware of the expression ‘ you know – the fine stuff that wets you through’. To be honest it had been a bit of a miserable trip weather wise but we could not allow the elements to spoil our fun. The Tuileries are a must and even though the rain was gently falling we had to go to the gardens. Just by the Musée de l’Orangerie we paused and looked at an extraordinary sight of the clouds coming down so low that two thirds or so of the Eiffel Tower has ‘disappeared’ giving the impression that it was still under construction. The view over the Place de la Concorde to the tower was an unmissable photo opportunity and a unique view of a familiar sight. Even Niamh was close to conceding that Paris could be more beautiful in the rain but alas we were again exceptionally moistened and ran to the Orangerie to dry out and enjoy once again Monet’s masterpieces.

Finally our last major encounter with the Paris rain was on a later trip with friends. The weather for the most part had been excellent but on our last morning before heading back to the Gard du Nord it was a dark, wet and filthy day. The leaden skies looked set for the day, proper summer cricket weather as we English would reflect. Perhaps Niamh and I were beginning to get this ‘Paris in the rain’ thing. The others stayed at the hotel playing cards but we intrepid explorers decided that we were going out, not to be cheated out of our last day in Paris. So that is what we did. We were wet by the time we got to the Metro La Motte Picquet Grenelle and we stayed wet for our entire trip. We were safe under cover on Rue Rivoli sheltered by the street arcade and enjoyed the shops and cafés, buying a touristy bag with Paris and Eiffel Towers stamped all over it that we still have in use today. This helped to keep our purchases fairly dry as they were suffering in the damp conditions. Wetter still, we headed through the Tuileries for one last time and then back on the Metro to the hotel. Our friends took one look at us and were incredulous that we were actually laughing and they despaired at our madness in going out in such a deluge. We though had finally got it, perhaps, just perhaps Paris is more beautiful in the rain.

Now it has to be said that I am not the best judge of this. I have lived most of my life in the North of England. I spent the first part of my life in the small town of Darwen, Lancashire. This is in a valley and was known for its cotton and paper mills that dominated the landscape. These are industries that need water, lots of water if you are following my drift. The town is overlooked from the moor above by a tower built to commemorate the diamond jubilee of Queen Victoria in 1897. There is a saying that ‘If you can’t see the tower it is raining and if you can see it then it is going to rain’. That is a fairly accurate view of the Darwen weather.

So is Paris more beautiful in the rain? Well, I think you can see that I am clearly not the man to make the final judgement, my senses are impaired. You will just have to experience it for yourself.

Old nostalgic road sign on Strawberry Line Somerset

Please enjoy my Travel books – LINK TO YOUR COUNTRY : http://getbook.at/FrenchTravel

Old road sign Sandford Somerset

A nostalgic old road sign. useful if you get lost walking the Strawberry Line in Somerset. This is close to Sandford. The Strawberry line and the old trackway is now a walking and cycling trailthrough a beautiful part of England. The line was so named because of its importance as a route for the produce to get from Cheddar and the surrounding area to the big cities. Nowadays the amount of strawberries produced is much reduced but they are still as delicious as they ever were.

French travel books on Kindle Unlimited. Books about Paris, Provence and French wine in my French travel guides. A tour of France,

Gourdon Provence France a view towards the mountains

Please enjoy my Travel books – LINK TO YOUR COUNTRY : http://getbook.at/FrenchTravel

Gourdon is a village perched high above the Mediterranean close to Grasse and overlooking Nice on the coast far below. It offers great views and many attractive shops and restaurants. Of course being so close to Grasse you cannot fail to be tempted into a perfume store. On the approach into the village you have this gorgeous view and we spotted this market garden. French produce straight from the ground for supper. Please enjoy more stories of Provence in my French travel books.

View from Goudon Provence France from the entrance to this hilltop perched village

French travel books on Kindle Unlimited. Books about Paris, Provence and French wine in my French travel guides. A tour of France,

France Enjoy it from home with this delightful French Travel book series

French travel books from Neal Atherton – Read about Provence, Paris travel and French wine

French travel books on Kindle Unlimited. Books about Paris, Provence and French wine in my French travel guides. A tour of France,

Photography series for my Provence French Travel book

I have spent this enforced spare time in revising my book on Amazon -THYME for PROVENCE. I have created a selection of photography of the people and places of Provence. Please visit my website http://www.nealatherton.com using the link below and enjoy the photography and I hope to inspire you to visit as soon as it is possible again – for now we still have our imagination and memories and no doubt a warm welcome awaits us in the future

GO TO : PHOTOGRAPHY FOR PROVENCE

Gordes Provence France – an atmospheric shop in a quiet passageway in this perched Provence village

My Provence travel book – Thyme for Provence available on Amazon

FRANCE Meet the people Taste the Food and Wine Summer French Travel Books

Please enjoy my Travel books – LINK TO YOUR COUNTRY : http://getbook.at/FrenchTravel

Paris, Provence, Burgundy and Languedoc all feature in my French Travel Books. Please enjoy my recollections of our travels to France over many years. The people and places we found were unforgettable and as always I place a strong emphasis on the food and wine of the regions. Come with me and be inspired to travel when we can all do so again safely. Let me take you on an escape to Provence or Paris and other regions of France with my French travel books.

European travel to France including Paris and Provence Travel books Enjoy French Wine and vineyards

Perfume flasks outside a shop Gourdon Provence France

Please enjoy my Travel books – LINK TO YOUR COUNTRY : http://getbook.at/FrenchTravel

Gourdon is a village perched high above the Mediterranean close to Grasse and overlooking Nice on the coast far below. It offers great views and many attractive shops and restaurants. Of course being so close to Grasse you cannot fail to be tempted into a perfume store. Please enjoy more stories of Provence in my French travel books.

Perfume flasks in the perched hilltop village of Gourdon Provence France

French travel books on Kindle Unlimited. Books about Paris, Provence and French wine in my French travel guides. A tour of France,

Place des Vosges Paris France Restaurants and Cafes

Please enjoy my Travel books – LINK TO YOUR COUNTRY : http://getbook.at/FrenchTravel

A quiet moment in a cafe Place des Vosges Paris France

Place des Vosges is a favourite spot for us in Paris as it holds many memories as a stopping point on my ‘guided tours’ with some very dear friends. Sadly the gatherings done today would be smaller and reflective but a visit to Paris is always joyous and absent friends would want it no other way. The square is stunning of course and you can get lost in working out the symmetry of the buildings that encircle the place. I still smile at the recollections of our group strolling round the covered perimeter with laughter echoing through the archways. The cafe on the corner gives a quiet atmospheric spot before carrying on with your sightseeing. From here you stroll out to Le Marais, a quarter that I love for its lively atmosphere and its history. You will also never go hungry.

A Lovely review of my FRENCH Travel Books Please enjoy them too

Please enjoy my Travel books – LINK TO YOUR COUNTRY : http://getbook.at/FrenchTravel

As they say ‘It makes it all worthwhile’. Merci

First Time we saw Paris book review
Tuileries Gardens Paris France – French travel books

Paris, Provence, Burgundy and Languedoc all feature in my French Travel Books. Please enjoy my recollections of our travels to France over many years. The people and places we found were unforgettable and as always I place a strong emphasis on the food and wine of the regions. Come with me and be inspired to travel when we can all do so again safely. Let me take you on an escape to Provence or Paris and other regions of France with my French travel books.

French travel books on Kindle Unlimited. Read about Paris, Provence and French wine in my French travel guides. A tour of France,

Artists Impression of the Paris Islands for my French Travel Books

A lovely watercolour artwork from an original idea by my book illustrator – so looking forward to being back on an island cafe. I do love to mix up my illustrations in my French travel books with photography and some original artwork.

I think an artists impression allows your imagination to take you into the scene and if you travel there eventually it is interesting to see how your thoughts compare with the reality. France of course and especially Paris are ideal for an artist to enjoy and interpret.

An impression of the Paris Islands from Ille de la Cite. A watercolor artwork for my Dream of Paris travel book.

French travel books on Kindle Unlimited. Books about Paris, Provence and French wine in my French travel guides. A tour of France,

Old Winscombe Railway Station on the Strawberry Line Somerset

Please enjoy my Travel books – LINK TO YOUR COUNTRY : http://getbook.at/FrenchTravel

The disused station at Winscombe is on the Strawberry line and the old trackway is now a walking and cycling trail through a beautiful part of England.

The disused station at Winscombe is on the Strawberry line and the old trackway is now a walking and cycling trailthrough a beautiful part of England. The line was so named because of its importance as a route for the produce to get from Cheddar and the surrounding area to the big cities. Nowadays the amount of strawberries produced is much reduced but they are still as delicious as they ever were.

French travel books on Kindle Unlimited. Books about Paris, Provence and French wine in my French travel guides. A tour of France,

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