Oh the Relief: Cool Temps, Cool Art and Cool People in Paris

Musée Marmottan, Paris

Like everyone else in Paris, we eagerly anticipated last evening’s break in the canicule, or heat wave, and the heavenly arrival of cooler temperatures.

The heat was still ferocious when we walked around on a few midday errands; a blinking sign above a pharmacie showed 39C/102F. I told Clive that was because it was directly in the sun and he replied, ‘So are we.’

39C outside the pharmacie

We celebrated the evening’s falling temperatures by heading out for a stroll and a final visit to the other Pissarro exhibit at the Musée Marmottan. This small museum is a longtime favourite and the advantage of going on their late-night opening is – in addition to last night’s cooler temps – the relative lack of crowds or groups.

Thursday night at the musée – everyone gets their own painting to view

How restful and soothing, to contemplate la bergère, the shepherdess, one of my all-time favourite works of art, along with so many of Pissarro’s other pieces, from rural scenes to urban Paris, from summer to autumn and winter and sunrise to high noon to sunset. Always, the Marmottan’s lower-level Monet gallery (superbly air-conditioned) is a feast for the eyes and the heart.

By 8:30pm, when we exited the museum, the outside air was downright cool. We opted to take the bus home and thoroughly enjoyed sitting on a bench by the bus stop and luxuriating in the beautiful fresh breeze while we waited.

Welcome clouds and a fresh breeze outside the Musée Marmottan

This morning brought a wonderful treat, when we met writer Linda Spalla and her partner and fabulous photographer Bernie Verdier.

I recently contacted Linda, after reading her delightful memoir (which includes Bernie’s fantastic photos), Bernie’s Paris: Travel Stories with Love. I highly recommend this couple’s great story of love and Paris, where they’ve spent every summer for the past 14 years. Linda also writes a daily blog post from Paris (found at the same author link above) which I look forward to every day. Over coffee and pastries, the four of us shared a few Paris stories, a little of our respective histories and a lot of smiles and congenial conversation (so busy talking I forgot to ask for a photo!). Thank you, Linda and Bernie for getting together with us today, especially after your busy week with family visiting!

We wrapped up our final day in Paris this trip with – bien sûr – a visit to our local café for a late lunch and good-byes to ‘Vlad’. All afternoon we felt a buzz in the air; we think it’s a combination of Friday and looking forward to the weekend on top of the blessed end to the canicule.

As our friend David noted in an email, it’s ironic we came to Paris this June to avoid the summer heat. The canicule was quite the experience and not one we’re keen to repeat. That said, Paris in the heat is still Paris, and that’s more than enough for me.

Café in the sunshine Paris

Au revoir to our home away from home for this trip and à bientôt à Paris.

Cheers and thanks for reading. More from our home by the sea in England.

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