Sunday, May 18, 2014

There's Something About Marais: Away to Visit Paris part 4

A bustling street in the Marais
It isn't by sheer chance that Ken and I visit the Marais district three times during our nine days in Paris. To describe the neighborhood, I'll share a quote from travel personality Ric Steves: "The Marais, containing more pre-Revolutionary lanes and buildings than anywhere else in town, is more atmospheric than touristy. It's medival Paris, and the haunt of the old nobility."

Through the centuries, the Marais has transitioned from dandy to dumpy. Today it is one of the trendiest areas in which to live and hang out.

Our first trek through the Marais begins at Place de la Bastille, continues to Place des Vosges, winds through the Jewish Quarter, passes the Centre Georges Pompidou and ends at Hôtel de Ville. Later in the week, we find ourselves back in the Marais to visit the musée Carnavalet (Parisian history museum), admire the Pompidou's incredible modern art collection and in search of bagels to bring home.

The Bastille monument

Jardins des Archives Nationales

A statue in the Jardins des Archives
, described as one of the
most romantic gardens in Paris

Maybe they're right: Look how romantic we look!

Marais mural

Louis XIII statue in Place des Vosges, a popular public
square that Louis's dad had built

There always seems to be a huge line at this
particular falafel place. We decide to eat across the
street at a table instead of standing up.
The plaza next to the Pompidou Center

The colorful exoskeleton of Centre Georges Pompidou

Sunshine and a view! Quelle journée super!

Did I mention there's art at the Pompidou
too? Merely one of Europe's best
collections of 20th century art. 
I include this photo of the lower level of the
Pompidou because I am surprised at how
empty and bus-station-like it is. There's
even a guy sleeping on the floor. But, no line for
les toilettes, so je suis content.
This understated building is the Hôtel de Ville,
the city hall of Paris since 1357.

Detail of a lamppost at the Hôtel de Ville

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