In search of the next monument or landmark, taking a few steps down, or climbing a flight of stairs, to reach one side of the street to the other was a bit of a mystery, until a couple of weeks ago, now the mystery has been solved.
A few weeks ago I designed a walking tour for myself, to see, evidence of the old city walls of Paris. I found the shortest street in Paris, which is a flight stairs and a hill leading down to an old city gate; Porte de Saint-Denis, all built upon, what was once the city walls, or the ditches either side. However, my journey was cut short when my memory card in my camera was full and I abandoned the walk. Today, I decided to complete the walk and found a few other surprises along the way.Passage du Pont aux Biches, has a steep set of stairs leading up to Rue Meslay, clearly a high point on the old city wall. Paris has more open and covered passageways, than I can mention in one blog post and I discovered quite a few more today, some leading to the next street, some with a dead end. All of them intriguing and charming in their own right.
Cutting through Passage Meslay, brought me down to the wide boulevard of Saint-Martin, again, descending steps to reach it. Someone must have decided that Johann Strauss needed a little colour in his life and gave him a purple moustache!
Heading down to the large square of Place de la Republique, I came across this unusual building facade. The weather has been mild for winter but today the temperature dropped and my fingers were stinging with the cold as I tried to capture, the reflection on the facade, of the buildings across the street.
Place de la Republique is going through major renovations, which were underway, last year when I was in Paris. Eventually it will be a large green pedestrianised square.
Taking the Boulevard du Temple, showed more evidence of the city walls, with the famous Chez Jenny, the alsatian brasserie, sitting high above and on the opposite side of the street, the buildings, jut in and out, following the line of the old wall.
Venturing down Boulevard du Temple, It seems you can find almost anything, including a violin maker.
A store where you can customise your own Parisian sign,
a tiny store, the size of a cupboard, where you can purchase all your electrical needs,
restaurants, specialising in oysters
and the beautiful covered circus building; Cirque d’hiver.
A little further on, a store I had been meaning to visit for some time, simply called Merci. The trés chic and trendy store, selling books, clothing and homewares, was a pleasant pitstop inside from the cold.
Continuing along, I came across, tiny alleyways,
and quaint passageways,
as I worked my way towards the general direction of home. Not far from Place de la Bastille, is a wonderful street, Rue de Lappe,
lined with quaint shop fronts
for restaurants, cafe and night clubs.
Nearing home, Monoprix, the supermarket chain was next on the agenda, I decided to have an early night for once, and eat in.
Here I was faced with a big problem, deciding what to eat from the sumptuous variety of ready made food on display. When this occurs, I generally go into a shopping frenzy, unable to decide, with my bulging eyes, much bigger than my belly.
The next difficult choice, was wine, an entire cave crammed with wine from all over France.
Normally, I avoid supermarkets like the plague, but in Paris, I could spend my entire time, walking the isles of a large Monoprix, in awe of the variety on offer. Even deciding on a bottle of water can be a challenge, when an entire section is dedicated to sparking, semi-sparkling, flat, French, the list goes on. Exhausted and cold, I headed back to the apartment, looking forward to trying out my mousakka; which was not thrown into a plastic container and shoved across the counter by a grumpy supermarket staff member, but instead, as only the French can do, stylishly packaged, in a bamboo container, then carefully wrapped in waxed paper. Argh Paris! Gorgeous architecture, wide tree lined boulevards, quaint passageways, brightly coloured shop fronts and supermarket food to die for. What more does a girl need.
Even a quiet night in with some ‘takeaway’ makes me happy.
Indeed, just like the trendy store, where I couldn’t resist one tiny pink scarf … Merci!