Weekly Photo Challenge: Printemps à Paris

« Ajoutez deux lettres à Paris : c’est le paradis. »

– Jules Renard

When I think of the word ‘foreshadow’, I think of what’s about to come next, which is why seasons come to mind for this second entry for Daily Post’s Photo Challenge themed ‘Foreshadow’. Growing up in countries situated close to the equator, I’ve only ever experienced the monotony of year-long tropical climate and seen only rainy or too-hot sunny days, so living abroad in countries with a continental climate and a ‘proper’ spring, summer, autumn and winter has pretty much given me a new perspective on life by making me appreciate its highs and lows.

In winter, I stay low, not only because depressing weather damages my morale significantly but also because watching movies while snuggling comfortably under my warm quilt at home sometimes sounds like a better alternative to going out and saving the world. But these days don’t last forever because when the sun comes out I rush to my window to greet it like an old friend. Amazing how that brief ray of sunlight has the power to get me out of bed and walk through that front door, ready to face the world again.

When I first arrived in Paris in January of 2011, it was right smack in the middle of winter. It was cold, windy, rainy, and even though I hated the cold, I felt a bit sad to have missed the worst snowstorm Paris has had in years just the month before. In fact, I didn’t even get the opportunity to touch unmelted snow with my hands that winter because it only snowed in minuscule amounts, much to my disappointment.

But the best thing about winter is that you know it doesn’t last forever, and it gives you something better to look forward to: the coming of Spring. I was very fortunate to be in Paris at a time when Mother Nature was feeling a bit generous; by March, much to my landlady’s surprise, it was already sunny, whereas in previous years even in April it seemed like winter didn’t want to leave. On weekends, whenever she saw me sitting in my room when the weather was good outside she’d shoo me out of the apartment and tell me to take advantage of the sunny weather (and I dutifully obliged). Friends of mine who went to Paris in January 2012 weren’t so fortunate however; in March, it was still snowing, so it was a bit later before they could see Paris in all its sunny glory.

In this post , I want to show the transition from winter to spring as I witnessed in Paris. Paris is magnificent, sous la neige ou sous le soleil — under the snow or under the sun — and watching Paris go through this seasonal transition was like watching a flower bloom; the process was gradual, but the end result was truly breathtaking. Winter in Paris stayed true to the stereotypical dark, gloomy, and wet winter days, but when the grey skies finally cleared this beautiful city started unfolding itself, one petal at a time.

I’ll let the photographs speak for themselves.

Winter:

DARK: Pont Alexandre III

DARK: Pont Alexandre III

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La tour Eiffel

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La tour Eiffel.

Notre Dame.

Notre Dame.

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Hôtel de ville de Paris

Carousel in front of l'Hôtel de ville.

Carousel in front of l’Hôtel de ville.

Spring/Summer:

Pont Alexandre III

Pont Alexandre III

Le Louvre

Le Louvre

L'Arc de Triomphe

L’Arc de Triomphe

La Grande Mosquée de Paris

La Grande Mosquée de Paris

La Grande Mosquée de Paris

La Grande Mosquée de Paris

The city're most prized jewel: la tour Eiffel!

The city’s most prized jewel: la tour Eiffel.

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