March 4, 2008

Walking out on a Saturday

Posted in Exploring tagged , , , , , , , , , at 1:13 am by Lauren

Allen and I completed not one, not two, not even three, but FOUR City Walks on Saturday. It is March 1, we have four months left, and we’re far from completing our goal of doing all 50 City Walks.

But after completing four on the same day, we’re feeling more optimistic.

We started with Southern Marais, which we really feel is an extension of our “neighborhood” already. Still, I have insisted that we don’t check off a City Walk until we have actually walked it (even the one for Ile Saint Louis). The Southern Marais City Walk is a perfect example of why I insist this. We finally ducked into the Village Saint Paul, which had window after window for us to look in, and it was a much larger courtyard space than I would have assumed. Walking down Rue Saint Paul, you might not guess how much is inside Village Saint Paul by the view from the little archways leading in.

We then turned on rue de l’Ave Maria to see the Hotel de Sens from both sides. It’s a beautiful medieval mansion with a perfect garden:

Hotel de Sens

We passed our favorite Italian place (l’Epicerie Fuxia) on rue Francois Miron, marveled at the two remaining fachwerk (exposed-beam) houses, and continued to rue du Pont Louis Philippe, which had paper store after paper store. Allen wouldn’t let me go in them, so I’ll be back!

At Hotel de Ville, we set off on the second City Walk of the day, Beaubourg. This brought us up to Centre Georges Pompidou (which we did not visit Saturday), and up to rue Etienne Marcel. It was incredibly crowded, and we had a hard time seeing the sights on the walk for trying not to walk into people. However, we did catch this saint (probably Denis himself) on the corner of a building:

Saint on building

After that was the Tuileries, which was Allen’s top choice for the day. The City Walk was called the Louvre, though we skipped descending into the pyramid to the Carrousel du Louvre (where we did all our Christmas shopping). In the Tuileries, I had my eyes out for Maman, a giant spider:

Maman the spider

 I had read about Maman a few days earlier in The Paris Traveler blog. Anyone who knows me knows better than to think I had information like the name of a statue tucked away inside my head.

After we wandered the rest of the Tuileries and came out on Place de la Concorde, we doubled back along the fence and turned down Rue de Castiglione to the Place Vendome and then Place de l’Opera. I hadn’t been to Place de l’Opera since the three days I spent in Paris before we all went down to Montpellier for our year abroad to begin. (It’s hard to believe that was almost 8 years ago!) So of course I snapped a few pictures:

Opera Garnier

 Then I had to cross the street and retrace our path to take a picture of the coolest storefront I’ve seen in Paris. At least it was the coolest one I’ve seen that didn’t involve food. (Don’t make me choose among the ones with food! They’re all too fabulous!) But this one was amazing – beautiful ballet costumes hanging in the window.

Tutu in the window

I turned to Allen and said, “I guess I’ll never lose the little girl in me.” I wasn’t a prissy little girl, and I absolutely hated it when my dad called me his princess, but I certainly had my own share of secret dreams of being a ballerina (or a figure skater!). (And oh how far I’ve fallen.) Do you see all the little pairs of ballet shoes in the background? I’m looking forward to showing this picture to Adrienne and Natsumi, who will positively pee themselves in excitement.

The rest of City Walk number four (this one was “Place Vendome”) was nice, and I particularly enjoyed walking down Rue Saint Honore back to Hotel de Ville, rather than rejoining busy Rue de Rivoli (which is where we usually walk). On our way back home, Paris gave us one more beautiful photo opportunity as the sun was going down.

Paris sunset

 In all, we had walked 6.96 miles according to Google Pedometer (you can see our route there). Not bad for a Saturday.


1 Comment »

  1. emma said,

    its the most prettyest dress i have ever seen emmma xxxxxxx

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