Paris in spring

Last year, spring in Paris was a dreary affair: rain, rain, and more rain, clouds, rain, flooding, more rain… you get the idea.

(I wrote about last year here.) But this year we’re seeing the sun and blue sky… and cherry blossoms. Cherry blossoms like we’ve never seen anywhere else in our lives.

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Strolling by the white cherry blossoms… but cherry blossom nirvana was still yet to come.

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On our way to the epicenter of pink cherry blossoms.

We met up with some friends who suggested a trip to Parc de Sceaux south of Paris, a park I’d never even heard of. (Paris has dozens of parks, so that’s not like a huge shock or anything.) When we were first making plans to get together, I figured we’d just meet for dinner and hang out; I’m so glad we took advantage of the beautiful weather and the chance to see the trees dripping with blossoms.

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Parc de Sceaux isn’t just cherry blossoms; there are big lawns–lawns that you can even walk on (not something to take for granted in Paris), as well as a fountain and huge reflecting pools.

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Once again, we could’ve never planned this on our own or likely ever found out about this park from a typical guidebook. It definitely pays to have friends in the know!

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Carolyn, cherry blossom princess

 

Still receding…

This morning I did a loop around the bridges near our apartment. The water from the recent flooding has definitely gone down, but the roads along the Seine aren’t open yet.

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Yeah, that roadway is still wet and not far above the current river level.

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This is the same road, looking the other direction. Still very wet and lots of mud or silt or whatever on the road. But at least you can see the ground under the trees.

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The view last Friday (June 3).

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The tip of the island is barely above water level.

Floods… and fire?!?

As if floodwaters aren’t enough to deal with, how about a fire at the Louvre? Don’t worry, Mona is fine–it was a small fire at a construction site next to the Louvre–but really, enough is enough! They’ve been closed for days, they’ve had to move their artwork in basement storage up to high ground, now a fire… what’s next? (One of my daughters says there will probably be a heist.)

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Read the story here. And cue the “Paris is burning!” headlines.

Drying out

Sighted in Paris today: honest to goodness blue sky. Distinct shadows. And it was warm. Or at least warmish.

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The Seine is still running high, but the water level is slowly dropping and plenty of people are still out getting their photos of the swollen river. The Louvre and the Orsay remain closed due to having to get their artwork stored in the basements moved to upper levels. And closed roads along the river mean traffic is still bad in places. But all things considered, things could be a lot worse. (I’m sure those who run river cruises and have restaurants on boats think things are bad enough.)

Paris underwater

Rain.

I know all about rain–I’m from Seattle. I know about storms and floods–in western Washington State they’re not exactly unheard of. But even though there’s water everywhere around Seattle, it doesn’t have a river running right through the  middle of town.

Paris does.

And after what has felt like a continuous deluge over the last week, that river is running high–higher than it has since 1982. The Louvre and the Orsay are closed today, moving their artwork out of basement storage. The RER C, which runs along the Seine, isn’t running now. Roads along the river are underwater. All this and strikes all over the country (but that’s another story)!

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See those trees? They run along a road just above–er, now below–the Seine near our apartment. Yeah, that road is closed today.

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And there’s where the road reemerges.

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You’ll need to use a dinghy to get to your houseboat.

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Message in a bottle?

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The menu boards outside Le Maxim’s aren’t exactly legible anymore…

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The Zouave statue indicates how bad the flooding is. In 1910, the water got up to his shoulders!

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Another view of the statue.