Friday, January 18, 2013

What to do in Paris when you have two days - Le Marais

We had a great first day, walking all over Paris and you can read all about it here. On the second day we were already a bit tired so we slowed down a bit. We took the underground (or metro) which as I mentioned was close to the hotel and visited the Place de la Bastille and the Opera de la Bastille.
It started to pour so we did some souvenir shopping in a place just off Place des Vosges where we found affordable prices. Place des Vosges brings me back memories of my first visit to Paris: it's a very quaint place, lots of art galleries, sometimes there are people playing under the arcades. In the middle of this square there is a park and sometimes, on summer days, you can sit and watch children play with their grandparents.Unfortunately it was raining so we just stayed under cover and gazed in art galleries. We saw bronze statues of modern men and delicate paintings. If you want some art during your visit to Paris, check out these galleries in Place des Vosges.

In fact the whole neighbourhood of Marais is interesting and my mum said this was her favourite spot in Paris. The streets are what you imagine when you say Paris with a French accent. This is also one of my favourite parts of Paris: there are many shops and restaurants around and they are usually quite affordable and diverse. Also, the mix of tourists and locals is so that you feel like home. Walking down these streets you can stumble upon a specialized ballet shop or a statue of Victory or just behind a massive door, the gardens of the Archives. Or you can just try one of the ethnic restaurants, here you will find all of them, from the standard Chinese or Lebanese, to the more sophisticated Japanese to a restaurant dedicated to some small country you didn't even know had a special cuisine. Of course, there are the French restaurants as well. But I still think the most known place to eat in Paris must be the Latin Quarter, more about that soon, now some pictures of Marais.

Unfortunately you are never far from the crowds in Paris and we quickly arrived at the Centre Pompidou where a huge lot of people were waiting in line to visit the Dali exhibit. By the way, I heard it from several sources that if you went to the exhibit during the night (they have a nocturne) you don't have to wait in a kilometre long line.

Not far from Centre Pompidou is the Town Hall, a very easily recognisable building with many statues on the front. The skating rink in the Town Hall square was more water than ice because of the unusually warm temperature but the kids seemed to have fun, nonetheless.
This post is getting picture heavy so I will cut it now, telling you that we crossed the Seine again, to Notre Dame and leaving you with a picture of Conciergerie.
I will put up the last instalment on Saturday with nice pictures of Notre Dame against a cloudy backdrop, more streets of Paris and skyscrapers. As you could see from my story, there are a lot of things you can do in just 2 days of walking around Paris. You must be willing to walk, though this is just the exercise you need after you had lunch in French restaurant.

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