Monday, November 15, 2010

Rainy Paris

When I say it rained this past week in Paris, I do not mean it sprinkled. Or drizzled. Or misted soft Irish rain every once in awhile. I mean it rained. Big rain. Sideways rain. Bona fide gullywasher. Huge pools of water forming between sidewalk and street forcing us to either slosh through or leap over to cross. Inundation flowing through the streets, carrying freshly fallen golden plane tree leaves. Turning our newsstand umbrellas inside out and trying to dampen our spirits. Every single day began covered in clouds, heavy with water that began to fall seemingly as soon as we stepped foot outside the hotel.

We tried our best. We saw the things we were supposed to see, ducking into the Metro or hiding in cafes when we couldn't take anymore. After all, we were in Paris....this was our mantra as we got soaked through.

The worst day of rain was our Louvre day and we were nearly blown off the Pont des Arts as we stopped to wonder what the thousands of locks meant. We didn't have time to linger and look at them all, romantic tokens of so many couples, locked together in love, keys thrown into the Seine for all eternity.

It was on this day that we did the smartest thing ever to be done on a wet, grey day when sight-seeing is impossible. We went to a spa, stripped off our wet socks, boots and jeans changing them for raffia flip flops and kimono pyjamas and were lovingly pampered by the kindest women you can imagine. They rubbed and massaged our feet and legs for an hour and turned us back into real people.

The rain obscured the view from the top of the Eiffel Tower. And it took us two sardined elevator rides to figure that out.

I shielded my phone in my scarf like a mother with her tiny newborn baby just to find our way around, (maps useless because they kept tearing apart, soaked through) peeking out from under bent umbrellas to check street signs. And the hotel umbrella, stolen from under the nose of our hotel neighbor who already hated us, turned out to be broken when I needed it most. Its tip sliding through the top causing the entire thing to collapse onto my head. I held onto the point with my gloved left hand all the way from Versailles to the train station, laughing as my arm went numb and my gloves were soaked beyond recognition. Karma for the much abused neighbor.

And the thing is, I single-handedly vetoed London because I couldn't stand the thought of cold wind and rain. Of course London was beautiful last week. But thankfully the besties didn't throw that in my face once. I can't say I'd have been as forgiving. That's why they're the best.
Next time we're going for warmth. Maybe somewhere with nothing to see. Any suggestions?


  1. How about Madrid? It's nice, usually great weather, a few sites but not like Paris where you could be there for weeks and not see everything. Plus, the wine is great, and Spanish men are lovely eye candy (and I said 'eye' candy, only for looking... no no on the touching) x

  2. Me and the mari have been to madrid, bkids, and with vampire friends so on the prado day we made it as far as a cafe across the street at around 2pm and stayed there, just looking at the outside while the drinking started again. i think that might be a good one to revisit with the girlies.
    and you're right about the spanish...seriously beautiful people. remind me to tell you about barcelona.

  3. I was in Paris last February with my daughter. We had a lot of rain, too, and we spent an afternoon doing nothing at the Hammam de la Mosquée. It was fun and relaxing, we felt like living in a dream and we loved the experience.

  4. aracne, oh, i wanted to go to the hammam de la mosquee because i'd read about it but we didn't have swimsuits. it looks like it is so beautiful, was it?
    the spa we stumbled on was soooo good though. i seriously have never had anyone spend so much time on my feet! and they used this wooden massage stick for all the pressure points, heaven.

  5. Rain in Paris is always just around the corner! We had a "sunny" day yesterday, but even as I'm typing this comment, the weather is currently doing its typical drizzle routine. After getting caught in the rain one too many times, I've finally learned to carry an umbrella with me all the time. I definitely need to learn where the spa is you went to instead of ducking into cafes every time it starts to pour :)

  6. Linds, I wish I'd thought it through...or maybe not. Anytime away with the TX girls is great, rain or shine. The spa was near the Pont Neuf, Ban Thai Spa on rue Dauphine, 01 43 54 01 01...I cannot recommend them enough. Foot massage though not the hot rocks because one of my friends got that one and it was a bit too 'nipply twisty'...just a warning.


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