Paris: Of Rainy Roses and Rodin

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I try to be optimistic when it comes to unfortunate travel situations, truly I do, but there is one travel problem I always have a hard time overcoming: bad weather. Because so much of travel, for me, depends on being outdoors, on walking around a city, on exploring its streets, a bout of bad weather can really throw a wrench in things and make me transform from “enthusiastic traveler” to “extremely grumpy person” quite quickly.

On the whole, I was blessed with good weather throughout my entire semester abroad, but my luck seemed to run out in Paris, where I was greeted with drizzly skies most every day. The rain was rarely ever a downpour, but it was ever-present during my time in the city, coming and going and then coming again, often all within the course of an hour.

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Yet the funny thing about Paris and its magic is that I barely even noticed the rain. In other cities, the constant drizzle might have bummed me out, but in Paris it barely phased me; if there was ever a city suited to moody weather, it was Paris. The elegant buildings somehow look even grander under gray skies, and damp conditions are the perfect excuse for lingering over a cappuccino at one of the many cafés scattered throughout the city.

And so, when my train from Geneva rolled into Gare de Lyon under cloudy skies, I wasn’t upset. I dropped my things off at my hotel, nestled along Rue Cler, and set out for one of my favorite locations in Paris: Musée Rodin.

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I first visited Musée Rodin in 2006, and it immediately shot to the top of my mental list of “favorite museums in the world.” What I love about it is that, especially compared with some of Paris’s biggies (I’m looking at you, Louvre and Orsay), Rodin feels quieter and more low key. This is true both within the museum itself and outside in its gardens, which are the real draw here. Seeing Rodin’s sculptures nestled among beautifully tended flowers is pretty awesome, as far as art experiences go.

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I spent an hour or so wandering around the museum and gardens, umbrella firmly in hand, admiring the rain-soaked roses and sculptures. It was a peaceful and perfect way to kick off my visit to lovely Paris – rain and all.

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