The Marais

We’re off to the Marais district. This should be a wonderful neighborhood to wander through, as it seems to be everyone’s favorite part of Paris. Well, almost everyone’s: the website Photonet actually recommends skipping the Marais if you’re short on time as this is a gentrified-in-the-1960s quarter of narrow streets that lacks the authenticity of the rest of downtown Paris. That seems hard to believe. Besides, I love Medieval cities, so I am excited to get a sense of what Paris was like before being remade by Haussmann.

We start our tour behind the church of St-Gervais-et-St-Protais.

It does feel a bit Medieval here. It isn’t hard to imagine crowded dirt paths amid a hodgepodge of structures.

It’s a promising start to the afternoon, but heavy clouds have been hanging overhead for some time and now appear ready to dump their contents on us. . . it must be time for lunch!

After some searching, we settle in at a comfortable restaurant. Our lunch is delicious and it is pleasant to watch the rain pour outside.

We order dessert and wait for the rain to end.

When it does end, we duck into a small gallery across the street.

I love the bright cheery work of several of the artists, but can’t justify bringing anything home to add to my already too-crowded walls. At least I get to admire them for awhile.

We work our way through streets line with small shops and galleries (most closed) filled with lovely, expensive clothing, jewelry, and art.

It is a nice enough place to wander, but it certainly doesn’t feel Medieval. Mostly it feels sort of fake and sterile. It doesn’t seem like a place lived in by real people. Maybe I’m missing something, but I’m beginning to thin Photo.net was actually right. Bummer.

The Musée Carnavalet has gotten high marks from a number of my friends, so we head over there, only to discover that they are closed today.

This is not working out the way I anticipated.

Lane suggests we head to the Place des Vosges, which is supposed to be the loveliest square in all of Paris.

Wouldn’t this be a nice place to live!

At dinner last night the couple at the next table reminded us to go through the door in the southwest corner. . . . which takes us into the Hôtel de Sully.

Behind the church of St. Paul and St. Louis (which we don’t circle around to enter, but should have), we stumble across a lovely formal garden outside the Hotel de Sens.

It is a lovely spot to sit still for awhile.

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