Though I think Paris is at its best when the sky is clear and the sun rises in the far distance, I can’t deny that the city also looks beautiful in a certain way when it vests itself with a misty veil that gives it a somewhat mysterious and even ominous look.
In such conditions, walking along the Seine river from Quai d’Orsay to Notre-Dame feels like discovering Paris again. Alone in the fog, in the quietness of the asleep city, with no other sound but the seagulls’ cries, you could easily believe yourself lost in time : everything seems stopped, somehow waiting for time to come back and let life take its grasp on the city again.
This heavy and mysterious atmosphere is also perfect for a moment of introspection, as you gently walk to Notre-Dame. Without anyone around, you can walk undisturbed, think, and try to have a different look at what usually seems so familiar, outside and inside. Though this moment won’t make you smile as the usual colourful sunrise, it can make you feel more relaxed : it’s a moment that is exclusively yours, as the city seems to be. It can feel a bit melancholic indeed, but it’s fine : after all, why should there only be moments of joy, and why should we always run away from melancholy ? Would we prize joy so much if there weren’t any of those rare moments of loneliness and mild sadness ?
As I was walking on the paved banks of the Seine river, I couldn’t help but think that if I liked Paris for all the wonderful sunrises it has offered me in the past two years, I also liked it for ability to look sad and out of time at moments, and yet beautiful, making it a perfect place to walk alone in the morning, reflect on oneself, and throw away the melancholic thoughts that come to your mind in the mist and the still waters of the Seine river, letting them dissipate as the first sun beams thrusts through the clouds and the city slowly wakes up.