Tonight I took the Metro to the centre of the city, exiting at the Chatlet station. When I climbed the station stairs and reached the street, I was greeted by a surprisingly quiet city. The steady downpour has kept everyone indoors.
As I walked along Île de la Cité, I did not see the throngs of tourists I had seen in previous visits. The scene was quiet, reminding me more of downtown Ottawa around Parliament Hill on a weeknight, than one of the world’s top tourist destinations.
At Notre Dame Cathedral, the square in front of the great church was mostly empty. The city rats were taking advantage of this wet and quiet time, emerging from the neatly manicured shrubs that they call home, to feast on the hanging garbage bags nearby. Tourists took photos of the rats instead of the cathedral.
The City of Lights burns doubly bright when drenched in rain. As I walked along Boulevard Saint-Germain, I stopped along at several intersections, paying special attention to the famous cafés, all lit up, the lights reflecting off the wet street, making them seem all that more grand and inviting.
I got to the end of Saint Germain, crossing back over the Seine once again, from the left bank over to the right. By then, my feet were starting to feel heavy, both from fatigue and from being soaked by the rain. I ducked into a Metro station and headed back to my apartment.
It’s still raining in Paris. I don’t mind it one bit.