My past two trips to Paris have been uncharacteristically colorful for Paris at wintertime. When I went on Friday it was surprisingly warm. I walked all around the rive gauche. I hiked up to the second story of the Eiffel Tower and explored Les Invalides, which contains the Musée de l’Armée and Napoleon’s tomb. I even bought food to go and ate it in a little park. I discovered Les Arènes de Lutèce, ancient Roman ruins, and Le Jardin des plantes, where you can find the Natural History Museum, botanical gardens, and a large park. People were out and about enjoying the nice weather; even the flowers were making an appearance.
Two days later there was yet more color although it was significantly colder. The occasion was a parade celebrating the Chinese New Year. The organization was less than ideal; the route that the parade was supposed to follow was flooded with spectators who had to be slowly displaced by the parade itself and by the police walking in front, shouting at everyone, “Reculez!” My toes froze from standing out there in Chinatown for so long, but I had no clue about this cold front that was coming.
It was an icy wind from Russia that brought snow to Provence and even brought Monaco’s temperature below freezing. Just when I was thinking we were going to skip winter this year, the cold came back with a vengeance. There’s still no snow here in Coulommiers but there’s some in the forecast for Sunday. At least I had a glimpse of spring to get me through these cold days to come.