After too many late nights, a lazy day yesterday and a fitful nights sleep of dreaming in French, mind you my French is no better in my sleep, than when I am awake, I needed the cool wind in my face and some exercise.
I needed to go to Gard du Nord today, so, as usual, I walked. There is always something new to discover and learn when you walk in Paris.
If you don’t include Le Grande Arche de la Defense, the big modern arch with sweeping views from it’s rooftop, there are four arches in Paris.
Porte Saint-Denis is the only one I don’t remember seeing. With this in mind I went to Gard du Nord via the door of Saint Denis.
What I stumbled across was a great Saturday Street market. I wanted to buy up the whole place, some stall holders had great prices and fabulous and unusual items for sale. Antiques, furniture, bric a brac, fur coats, wonderful old military leather caps, goggles and it went on. A great find!
Starting near the lovely old Rex Theatre and running along rue du Faubourg Poissonniere to the Porte Saint-Denis.
Rummaging around and resisting yet another fur coat or a container full of furniture, I ventured over to Gard du Nord. Grateful I had my trusty umbrella, the sky was grey and menacing, clouds were threatening rain but I need not worry – minutes later the sky changed from almost black to a brilliant bright blue!
Not far away is Canal Saint Martin and being Saturday, it is a nice place to be.
Families taking a stroll, a young boy, perhaps testing out his new Christmas present, a small power boat. Standing with his dad, on the banks of the canal clutching a remote control, he had it whizzing around the canal and scaring the life out of the ducks. It is such a pleasant area and so removed from the pumping heart of the city. Even more trendy places have popped up since I was there last.
I had to stop by Place de la Republique, as it is undergoing a huge transformation, where it will soon be a big open space for pedestrians only, so I wanted to have once last look before it changes.
Strolling along, in the general direction towards home, I came across a church. As I passed I could see a recital inside, checking the poster outside, it was free.
Things I would never do at home, I entered took a load off and had a little listen. Beautiful.
There is always something going on in Paris and quite often free, you just have to be in the right place at the right time.
Late Thursday night, in a local bistro, I made a new friend ….
As the night got colder, we shared my coat!