Out, early, into sunshine and traffic starting. I have plenty of energy this morning, it feels superb to be moving my feet, opening my eyes to this city of passion and beauty. I walk my husband to his meeting, and we have coffee and croissants at our usual cafe on Avenue George V before parting, to meet back at our flat.
Where will I walk today?
I'm not sure, but I head back in the direction of the river, cross back to the left bank, and start to run. Now I am running up the left bank, and I don't know how far I'll go. I leave the sidewalk, descend to the riverwalk, and the Seine laps at the edge. I stop running when I'm tired, and then I'm taking pictures, this walk by the river is so surprising, so delightful, so playful and gorgeous. I keep going and going, it's quieter going UNDER the bridges. Soon enough, here I am, all the way to Notre Dame. I look up at the cathedral, sunlit. And then I climb the stairs to the street. Here is where I'll turn back. Next to a bookseller stall I pause to take one more photo of Notre Dame. And as I do, the bookseller, in French, directs me to hand him my phone. He sees that I want a picture, and he thinks I should be in it. I'm hot from this hike in the sun, and I don't feel it's a very photogenic moment for me, but his gesture is friendly and kind – he wants to complete my experience, because a morning in Paris, in front of Notre Dame, is a walk to remember.