Oh, how I love walking tours. So that’s the first thing I had scheduled after our arrival in Paris. Our tour was through Paris by Martin. The guide we had was Martin’s partner whose name was Pepé. He was delightful. By the way, tons of men in Paris wear scarves. As far as women’s fashions go, I never saw a maxi skirt once. I brought one but the idea of wearing it made me feel so frumpy that I left it in my suitcase the entire time.
Pepe walked us all over the Marais district, showing us the oldest and most interesting parts of the city (it was the Jewish section and nobody cared to make it all new and fancy in the 1800’s when they did the major overhaul of Paris.) The nice thing about Paris is that there aren’t horrid modern buildings plopped down all over the place. Most everything is old and picturesque. Or at least old. (Tangent: Unlike our British tour guides, Pepe was like having a private photographer. It was nice to finally get some shots of all four of us!)
Rumor has it that Johnny Depp just bought an apartment here in the Place Des Vosges.
The buildings all have these wonderful vaulted arches so I can’t say that I blame him.
In the Marais is the most superb bakery called L’Eclair de Génie that sells nothing but eclairs. Sometimes there are foods that are really hyped up and when they don’t taste nearly as great as you’d hoped you are just so let down. This was not one of those occasions. These were unearthly good. Unbelievable.
The eclairs are not cheap. We each got two–for research, of course. At $8-10 apiece , they had better be fantastic. But look how they have the name of the shop stamped on a little chocolate disc! And the nuts are dusted with gold! There went our dinner budget but it’s Paris! What are you supposed to do? Eat mediocre, cheap food all the time?
We wanted to save some for later but we had gobbled them up by the time we got to the end of the block.
After the Marais we strolled down to the Quartier Latin. So many fabulous things to see. Here’s the oldest restaurant in Paris called La Procope. It opened in 1686 and among it’s clientele are Benjamin Franklin, Robespierre and Voltaire. We didn’t eat there (too many eclairs) but it’s in a charming area.
There’s also a great fountain in the very touristy area near St. Michel.
A lot of buildings in Paris have lovely courtyards on the inside. You can rarely see them unless you have a key. Or unless you have Pepe.
We saw so many gorgeous and amazing places. It was the perfect way to kick off our stay in France.