Monday, September 10, 2007
On my way to work one day last week I was lucky enough to enjoy one of those rare treats: a stroll through an empty Parisian garden in the sunshine.
Normally in the Jardin des Tuileries there is little peace and no quiet, with tourists jostling for space with pushchairs and all manner of ridiculous souvenir sellers. The chalky Parisian ground stains your shoes with other people's footprints and wheel marks from the variety of skateboards, rollerblades and Vélibs which really shouldn't be there.
There are never any free reclining chairs around the pool and wherever you look some snotty child is wrestling with an ice-cream cone.
Last Wednesday it was totally different. As I stepped into the garden on my way from the Tuileries métro station to the rue de Lille, my destination, I turned my face to the sunshine
and literally began basking and appreciating this beautiful city for what it has to offer.
On my left was the Louvre museum with its glass pyramids, reflecting the sunshine coming from the east, and on my right was the grande axe, a long section of boulevard stretching from the Louvre to the financial district of La Défense. The sun lit up the Eiffel Tower and the Musée d'Orsay on the other side of river with a light that I had never seen in these gardens; mostly because I come to this area at weekends and not at 8.30am.
I may be waxing lyrical but the sight of the rising sun across Paris was truly beautiful and boosted me until lunchtime.