The sky hung low, the color of graphite, and it seemed just as heavy. The air was cool and dense. But I wasn't disappointed. After a shot of bitter espresso, I was ready to go.
I had bad weather as my companion, and a good one it was, too. I walked along the quays and over the bridges in a soft drizzle. The colossal bronze figures that hang off the side of the Pont Mirabeau were wet and streaming. The Eiffel Tower lost its summit in the fog.
The cars and autobuses made hissing noises as they flowed by on wet pavement. The Seine was flecked with pellets of rain. The dark, varnished houseboats, so long a fixture on the river, had their lights shining invitingly out of pilothouses.
The facade of Notre Dame in the gloom sent a medieval shudder through me. None of this I would have seen in the sunlight.
Richard Goodman is the author of French Dirt: The Story of a Garden in the South of France as well as a contributor to Travelers’ Tales France;Food: A Taste of the Road; and The Road Within. He wrote the Introduction to Travelers’ Tales Provence