Sunday, June 03, 2007

Paris - Le Marais and the Islands of the Seine

This walk began at the Place de la Bastille. We had a little trouble figuring out directions but soon enough found Rue St. Antoine and headed on our way. Place des Vosges is the oldest square in Paris and houses shops, art galleries and cafes around the perimeter under the arcades. We saw younger children playing together and adolescents lounging on the grass in small groups talking and smoking. I was amazed at the number of young people I saw smoking. Most of the teenagers wore blue denim jeans and black pullover snug fitted shirts - I didn't see any of the immensely oversized clothing that seems to be the style here in the States. Soon enough we found Rue des Francs Bourgeois to seek out Pelote - a yarn shop I had read about and was eager to visit. Pelote carried a wide variety of Anny Blatt yarns and I chose a varigated pink to knit up into another wrap.
Musee Picasso is in this area and I plan to visit it during my next trip to Paris. We didn't visit any art museums this trip - just felt like we didn't have enough time. I enjoyed exploring Rue des Rosiers which is the Jewish/Eastern European part of the Marais. I noted the many falafel shops in this area and planned to return another day.
The gardens of the Hotel de Sens were beautifully tended
and the fortress like buildings surrounding the gardens were built in 1475! We crossed the Seine via the 17th century Pont Marie to reach the Ile St Louis - a small island in the midst of busy Paris and in the shadow of the magnificent Notre Dame.
Hundreds of people were waiting in line to visit Notre Dame -
we'll save this exploration for another time...