I think that until you see a city wake, until you experience the first light make its way along the streets and up the buildings, until you see the first store keepers opening the doors and sweeping the sidewalks, until you see the first person sipping an early morning espresso, until you see all those little things that a city does as it wakes, you will never truly know a city. You will never know what makes that city different and unique from another. Throughout my travels, when I have known that my time will be short in a city, I make a point of sharing a sunrise with her. I walk her streets, taking in the sounds as she groans and stretches out the kinks from the night. I listen to the birds come alive, the street traffic, the bike whiz by, the laughter between shopkeepers. I smell the dew from the night, the fresh blossoms and the musky river, the baking croissants and coffee brewing. I take in the gain in momentum, the horns and pedestrians, the anticipation of the day. And then it's gone. Somehow the sunrise became the day, and that magical moment in between is lost until tomorrow. It's a gift to experience a city, to feel a city. It's a gift to see it through a foreigners eyes.
One of my favorite sunrise cities was Zurich, another was a small village in Northern Italy. But my all time favorite is Paris. Hands down. My favorite city in the world, mentioning her name makes my heart flutter. I was lucky enough to walk the Louvre at sunrise. Even though I had my camera, I think most of the images were catpured in my mind. They are engrained, and when I go looking for them, they come alive and I feel the warmth of the morning sun, the dry gravel pathways beneath my feet, the trees lined before me billowing softly in the wind, the statues glowing in the golden light, far off the first of the cars honking... and the Louvre all to myself.
This is one of my all time favorites of the tower.