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Monday, February 22, 2016

One More Little Note about Paris: Memorable Marais

A week ago Sunday I was in Paris, waiting for Doug to arrive that night. After attending worship at the American church in Paris, I decided to grab a croque monsieur, France's answer to the grilled ham and cheese, and then jump on bus 69 and head for another favorite part of the city, the Marais. Home to Victor Hugo and the Jewish quarter, there's just something about this area of town that I have always loved. It's lovely to stroll the streets, to see the Jewish vendors selling falafel, watching people enjoying the beautiful surroundings. The Place de Vosges is such a lovely square with the majestic buildings enclosing a lovely square.Built by Henry IV in 1605, it is a prototype of the European residential square. Victor Hugo lived at #6 from 1832-1848. Nearby Hotel du Sully contributes to the grand beauty of this little corner of the city. And everywhere you turn in this neighborhood there seems to be a gorgeous building rising up around you.
I stumbled upon this restaurant that is every seafood lover's dream come true! Beautiful displays of shell fish fronted a worker shucking oysters for those wanting to indulge. And the Jewish bakeries and shops added a wonderfully different flavor to the patisserie culture of Paris. One shop, an old chemist's building, was now a cafe serving up crepes through the small window. Another bar that had been written up in some travel books was worth a peek mainly because of how tiny it was. I was going to have a glass of wine but drinking alone isn't that much fun. 
I just loved the scenes of people enjoying a coffee or a wine or a snack in the outdoor seating areas. The architecture, the parked bikes, the entire atmosphere is just so inviting.
On my way home, in the midst of the busy traffic noise of Paris, I heard the clomping of horse hooves. A horse drawn carriage emerged in the midst of the cars and it seemed a little too much like a fairy tale rather than the real time real life scene that I was living in. 
Views of that Eiffel Tower at night is something everyone should get to see at least once in their lifetime.
Doug finally arrived at about 9.00 p.m. It was Valentine's day and we were in Paris so we ventured to a nearby restaurant and indulged in a delicious bowl of Onion Soup and a nice glass of red wine. (They don't call if French Onion Soup here...it's obvious, that in Paris, it's French.)
Ah Paris...not sure when I'll return but I'm thankful for the numerous wonderful times we have forged memories in this grand city.