Saturday, October 31, 2009
Early morning on the Pont des Arts
There was a time - and it doesn't seem that long ago - when I would be one hundred times more likely to see sunrise over the Seine at the end of a big night painting the town rouge. This morning, I experienced dawn's crack on the arm of my 18-month-old son, as we scarpered from the apartment to give his long suffering mum a precious extra hour's sleep.
It was cold, the Pantheon was shrouded in early morning mist and the normally buzzing streets were deserted. My little man and I stood on the Pont des Arts for as long as the cold allowed, watching the occasional boat sluice its way up the river. The Seine was as still as the proverbial mill pond. The city was shaking itself out of its slumber and preparing for itself for another crisp, late autumn day. And I thought about the time in my life when sunrises were only ever the backdrop to a scurry home after a big night out. And as fond as those memories are, I found myself relieved those days are (mostly) behind me. They were a pleasure to experience and I don't regret a second, but neither do I need to relive them. And while initially the prospect of dragging myself and the little fella out of the warmth of the apartment and into the cold filled me with dread, I soon discovered early morning Paris offers up a world of delights.
Does it mean I'm getting older? Probably. Does it mean I have matured? I hope not. At least not too much...
And just because I like the photo, see below a snap I took the other night from my other favourite Parisian bridge, the Pont Alexandre III. You've got to hand it to the old dame Paris, she sure does scrub up well.