Ah Paris, la ville des lumieres.
My dad sent me an email while ma jolie femme (my beautiful wife) and I were in Paris last summer. The email came on the last day we were in Paris. He said, “It must be beautiful there at night. I always wanted to see Paris at night.”
It suddenly dawned on me…
We had not really seen “The City of Lights”.
Paris was given the above nickname, La Ville des Lumieres, because it was one of the first European cities to use gas street lights and it was prominent in the Age of Enlightenment. Now we did not see much of the physical lights of Paris and considering our lack of awareness as to our location most of the week, we did not feel too enlightened. Nevertheless we had a good time slogging through the streets of Paris in hot and humid conditions, sans lumieres.
The previous week we spent in London, where the skies did not darken until about 10:00 PM. We were not accustomed to this, even with the much-anticipated switch to Daylight Savings Time in eastern Kentucky, where it gets dark a little after 9:00 PM. We still do the time change to aid the farmers, or the late-day yard mowers. I belong to the latter group.
I thought in Paris it would get darker sooner since we were east of London. However, my internal compass could have been playing tricks on me since in Kentucky, Paris is slightly west of London. So give me a geographical break.
The summer days in Paris are llllooooonnnnggg and hot. Due to the heat and humidity, and my 60+ yr-old body tiring more easily, we were back in our hotel room by the time it got dark. The only lights we saw in Paris were generated by our handheld devices.
This last night, we tried to stay out past dark. As we were eating our last Parisian meal at a cafe called Le Petit Suffren. I was about to fall asleep in my plate of tomatoes with mozzarella and pesto. The beautiful Missus was dazed as she finished her chicken crepes. We were both sufferin’.
We did see some lights of Paris during the day. I took this picture while we were on top of an open air bus. It is the reflections of light off the pyramid at the Louvre.
We actually were walking in Paris after dark the first night we were there, but we were lost and looking for our hotel. We did get a glimpse of La Tour Eiffel dans les lumieres that showed itself between buildings. However, my wife playing the part of femme fatale in our little street drama was putting me in a compromising position of choosing between setting up a tripod for a photo or…actually there was no choice. She was tired of walking and wanted sleep. When I slowed to a stop to reach for my camera bag, I saw the look.
No amount of French could pretty-up what she was thinking.
If you like this photo, you can see more of my pictures here.