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Eleven Days in Paris

Place St-Sulpice Dancers Paris - photo property of Janet Francoeur

I visited Paris for the first time for just few days in the 90s with a bunch of folks from around New Bern. It was an amazing trip but I never felt like I saw enough of Paris, so this was the year to go back.

A non stop flight from Raleigh took a lot of the stress out of the flight. My hotel was right next to the Cathedral of the Rive Gauche, the Church of Saint Sulpice. It is on a square with a huge fountain, and my hotel room looked out over the square. It’s also a church that was featured in Dan Brown’s DaVinci Code.

The church is significant because with Notre Dame’s closing, it’s the largest church in Paris (2nd largest in the city next to Notre Dame) that is able to celebrate Mass and welcome visitors, so it’s temporarily serving as the city’s cathedral. Some days and most evenings there were people dancing in the square under my window.

The 5th photo was my hotel, Hotel Recamier. It’s small, only 24 rooms, very nice and the staff was great.

The hotel was in a great location, Luxembourg Garden is just 1 block away, Notre Dame and the Flower Market is about a 20 minute, and it was pretty easy walking, I walked to Musee D’Orsay, and the Louvre is just across the river from that. If I was into clothes shopping for designer fashions I landed in the perfect spot. There were small clothing boutiques, art galleries, and nice restaurants, dozens and dozens of them in every direction. As you go down toward Notre Dame everthing gets more touristy but it’s nice all the same.

Day 1 – Luxembourg Garden – Notre Dame
I arrived at about 11 at the hotel and spent the afternoon walking around the Luxembourg Garden then having a lesiurgly late lunch. I signed up for a 6 days tour of just Paris with a group called Girls Guide to the World. There were only 6 of us on the tour. I went two days early and stayed 4 days after. I didn’t know the other people but we met over a zoom call a couple weeks ahead. After the garden and a walk to Notre Dame I was beat having not slept much on the plane.

Medici Fountain Paris - photo property of Janet Francoeur
Mile Zero Paris

Day 2 – Notre Dame again – Flower Market – Au Vieux Paris  – Giverny

I walked back to Notre Dame looking for the mile zero marker, point zero it’s called, where everything in France is measured from. I never saw it, I beleive its behind the wall they have built around Notre Dame to prevent a bunch of tourists from getting hit by something falling on them. But here is a photo of it from its website.

Right around the corner is the Marche Aux Fleur, the Flower Market. It wasn’t quite as neat as it was on my first visit but I enjoyed it just the same.

After the market I had coffee at this sweet looking restaurant, I think I see a painting coming out of it!

Cafe Au Vieux Paris - photo property of Janet Francoeur

And a few random shots along the way.

The Place Saint-Michel has this fabulous fountain.

The square was completed in 1869, the highest fountain in the city, dedicated to the archangel Michael. The central niche houses the Archangel, waving a sword. He was the leader of the heavenly armies – Patron saint of warriors.

One of the ladies and I hit it off right away. Another lady arrived early and wanted to go to Giverny – I did too, so off the 3 of us went.

Monet’s grave in Giverny France

At 2pm we headed off to Giverny with a company called Blue Fox Travel obtained through Get Your Guide. Eight people is all the tour bus would hold so it was a nice size. Two people were from New Zealand, there was an Englishman, and two from somewhere else.

Our first stop was at the church where Monet and much of his family is buried.

I’ll have to say I thought I knew a lot about the artist but learned more on the tour. The garden and home were just as beautiful as I remember.

And once again I see some paintings coming out of these photos and many other parts of my time in Paris!

Our guide told us that you can lease the grave sites in this and many cemeteries, like for 10, 20, or 50 years. If you don’t renew the lease, they remove the remains and someone else moves in. I loved the porcelain flowers on many of the tombs.

Arc d Triomphe Paris - photo property of Janet francoeur

So who is the lady looking in the mirror, my new friend asked? Just someone I saw in the bathroom I answered. You took a picture of someone in the bathroom? Yes, I thought she looked like an interesting character!!

Arc d Triomphe ceremony Paris

I got this great shot of the Arc d Triomphe as we returned back to Paris.

Something I did not know about the Arc d Triomphe is that every evening there is a daily ceremony known as the “Flame of Remembrance.” A flame is lit daily at 6:30 am and extinguished late at night. And it’s no insignificant event. As you can see there are a lot of dignataries that participate in the ceremony. This has happened every day since November 1923 at 6:30 pm.

One thing I remember well from my last trip is the chaos of the Etoile (French for star) around the Arc. It is called that due to the configuration of the intersection, with the various avenues branching out like the points of a star.

Our driver had fun telling us about it and even circled it twice just for fun. I can’t beleive bicyclists drive through it!

He says if you get in an accident on it, your insurance company won’t cover it. Which explains why our taxi drivers went a different way even though it would have been shorter to do the circle. We had 2 great taxi drivers, both older men, both spoke English, and both were lovely taking us to and from the tour.

Sitting at a stoplight I got this nice shot of the Effiel Tower.

Eiffel Tower at Sunset Paris

Day 3 – Jardin de Plantes – The Great Mosque – The Pantheon – Dinner on the Seine

Great Mosque Paris tower

Day three was the day I met the rest of the ladies from across the US. Our Tour was called Artists and Writers Tour. Before they arrived I walked to the Jardin de Plantes which was kind of a hike but doable. On the way I saw the Pantheon and the Great Mosque.

On October 19, 1922, the building of the Mosque was begun. The idea for it dates back to the 1800s. The French government decided they needed to build a mosque in 1916 when they had to count so many soldiers of the Muslim faith among its heros of the « Great War. »

Pantheon Paris

The Pantheon stands on the top of Montagne Sainte-Genevieve. It was built between 1758 and 1790.  

By the time it was finished, the French Revolution had started and the government voted to transform the Church of Saint Genevieve into a mausoleum for the remains of distinguished French citizens.  Some dignitaries that are buried there are Voltaire, Jean Jacque Rousseau, Victor Hugo, Alexandre Dumas to name just a few.

Even though Paris has seen some nights in the 40s there was still quite a bit in bloom at the Jardin de Plantes. Jardin doesn’t always mean there are flowers, often it just means park.

Eiffel Tower shimmering Paris

I decided to hop on the Batoboat. It’s a boat that has 9 stops and you can get off and get back on. I got off at the St Germain stop which was closest to my hotel. It was fortunate that I walked up the rue de Seine. It and surrounding streets are host to the highest concentration of art galleries and antique dealers in the world. There were a lot of contemporary furniture galleries there as well.

I met the rest of the group and off we went to dinner on Ducasse sur Seine, a restaurant on a boat that we boarded right across from the Eiffel tower.

The tunnel Diana was killed in is right by where we boarded the boat and we drove through it. The boat, the food, and the ambience were all lovely. The Eiffel Tower sparkles for a few minutes every hour after dark.

Day 4 – Jacqueline Marval – Musee d’Orasy – Chez Fernand

We took the bus across town to see a private collection of the work of Jacqueline Marval. I had never heard of her. She was born in Quaix, near Grenoble. Her given name was Marie-Joséphine Vallet, she took letters from her first and last name and became Jacqueline Marval. Her parents were teachers, so that is what she studied to be.

She married and had a son who died as a child and that was a turning point in her life. She left her husband and became a vestmaker to support herself. She eventually arrived in Paris in 1895 and lived in the Montparnasse district. She met the painter Jules Flandrin (1871 – 1947), who she lived with for thirty years, and Matisse, Van Dongen, Marquet, Picasso, Manguin, Camoin, were in her circle of friends. In the 1940s Raphaël Roux dit Buisson€s began collecting her work and amassed the largest collection of her paintings in the world.

Flame of Liberty Paris

On our way to our next stop I shot this blurry photo through the bus window. It is a memorial called The Flame of Liberty. It was erected in 1987 near the Pont de lᦇAlma and is quite close to the tunnel where Princess Diana was in the accident and it has turned into a memorial by her admirers.

It was donated by the International Herald Tribune, to symbolize the friendship between the French and American people. It is a life-sized, gilded copper replica of the flame at the top of the Statue of Liberty.

After lunch our next stop was at the Musee D’Orsay. The tour was lead by an art historian who taught us about the progression of painters that became the impressionists and the others that influenced them.

Caillebotte painting Paris

We saw work by the usual suspects, Pissarro, Monet, Renoir, Sisley, Degas, Cezanne, and Manet.

One artist I didn’t know about was Gustave Caillebotte. He was a painter in his own right but came from a very wealthy family so did not have to sell his work to make a living. He was a great supporter of the arts and began supporting and collecting work of young painters.

After the death of his younger brother he thought that he might die young as well so wrote his will when he was in his twenties. He died at age 46. In the will he bequeathed a large collection of art to the French government that included sixty-eight paintings by Pissarro (19), Monet (14), Renoir (10), Sisley (9), Degas (7), Cezanne (5), and Manet (4) .

We topped off the evening with dinner at Chez Fernand, just around the corner from our hotel. This was such a great neighborhood!

Day 4 – Hemmingway Tour – Sylvia Beach – Stuffed Bears – 100 Establishment Cultural Center – Promenade PlantéeHaussmann ‘s Renovation of Paris

“If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast.” Ernest Hemmingway.

This tour is about artists and writers in Paris. Ernest Hemmingway was the main topic of a walk through the Latin Quarter, seeing where he wrote and lived. One of the places he lived with his second wife was just 1/2 block from my hotel.

Our guide referred to his book « A Moveable Feast » which was published after his death. He arrived in Paris in 1921 with his first wife Hadley. We saw their first apartment on74 Rue du Cardinal Lemoine where they had no running water. He was quoted as saying they used a Michigan toilet, which meant outhouse. I didn’t realize at one point he lived at Walloon Lake near Charlevoix, Michigan. I went there with my folks as a kid. I’ll have to say I’ve not read the Moveable Feast but I will when I get home. They were quite poor but happy, at least for a while.

Our guide has a post doctorate degree and Hemmingway is one of her research subjects.

Around the corner he had a small apartment that he used for his writing. I knew he drank a lot but didn’t realize he was also disciplined about it. He would not drink each day until after he had written 10 pages.

One place all the tourist sites mention is Shakespeare and Company but I didn’t realize the history of the name until this tour.

Shakespeare and Company originally functioned as a lending library and bookseller near the Luxonbourg Garden. It was started by American expat and literary sponsor Sylvia Beach.

Sylvia helped many writers get their work published, like James Joyce’s Ulysses (he could not get any company to publish it). She also helped Hemmingway publish and even loaned him money.

Many famous writers Ezra Pound, TS Eliot, Gertrude Stein, Man Ray, and many others hung out at the bookstore. During the Great Depression the store suffered but with the help of « Friends of Shakespeare and Company » who paid a subscription to allow them to attend readings, allowed the store to flourish. But after 1941 she was forced to close and never reopened.

She was interned for six months during the war. Alongside many other women, Beach was arrested, confined briefly in a Parisian zoo, and then interned at Vittel Internment Camp in eastern France. The camp was composed mostly of female inmates who held either American or British passports. I could not determine the real reason for internment but suppose it was because she was the enemy.

After being released she joined the resistance. She died in Paris in 1962. After her death another American, George Whitman, opened a new bookstore in 1951, where it’s located now, and used the name Shakespeare and Company in honor of Sylvia. His daughter now runs the Bookstore.

Back to Hemmingway. We went by so many restaurants and bars that writers hung out at! One I could see out of my hotel window. Continuing our tour we took the path Hemmingway walked to the Luxembourg Garden. He became friends with Gertrude Stein, Pablo Picasso, James Joyce, to name a few.

Stein dubbed them the lost generation. “Lost” in this context refers to the “disoriented, wandering, directionless” spirit of many of the WWI war’s survivors,  Around 1927 he began an affair with Pauline Pfeiffer a fashion reporter and Hadley filed for divorce right away. After a bit he married Pauline and they moved to Key West. But before they moved they lived for a while in the posh neighborhood by my hotel, they could because Paulines family was quite wealthy.

Hemingway featured the bar at the Ritz in The Sun Also Rises and once wrote, “When I dream of afterlife in heaven, the action always takes place in the Paris Ritz.” Which I visited later in the trip!

In closing about Hemingway, he eventually had another affair with Martha Gellhorn. Won’t women learn?? If they did it before they will do it again!

Our guide also taught us about Haussmann’s renovation of Paris. It was a major public works project for the city commissioned by Napoleon the 3rd. It included the demolition of medieval neighborhoods that were deemed overcrowded and unhealthy.

The demolition included 20,000 structures; the building of wide avenues; new parks and squares; the annexation of the suburbs surrounding Paris ; and the construction of new sewers, fountains and aqueducts. The street plan and distinctive appearance of the centre of Paris today are largely the result of Haussmann’s renovation. His assignment was to give the city air and open space, to connect and unify the different parts of the city into one whole, and to make it more beautiful. His part of the job lasted 17 years, from 1853 to 1871.

Along our walk we saw this big Teddy Bear hanging in a window in a restaurant. It turns out that during covid the restaurants were trying to come up with ways to social distance.

One cafe used giant teddy bears in some seats to keep its customers apart. It turned into « a thing » and all over the city you would see these bears in some of the seats. If you search online for giant teddy bears at tables in Paris you’ll see some neat photos. Later in the trip I saw more bears in the Marais.

We rode the bus to the right bank where we had lunch under the Promenade Plantée, the elevated green walkway that inspired the developers of the Highline in NYC. It is three km long. It’s not as nice as the Highline but pretty neat all the same.

We then visited 100 Establissment art center and met two artists that share a studio there. Liz Adams originally from Atlanta and Stephanie Mackenzie originally from Toronto. There are just a few permanent studios in the building, I thought it was interesting that Expats were able to get them rather than French people because they are being subsidized by the government. I asked if there was resentment that they got the spots and they said people were more curious about them than resentful.

We rode the bus quite a bit during the trip, taxis, and the metro as well. I really enjoyed riding the bus, it was only crowded one time and with the refillable Navigo card it was $1.90 per ride. There is a lot in the press about bedbugs, fortunately we did not see any!

Day 5 – Stained Glass Artist – a Fabulous Lunch at the Cafe De L’Esplanade – Rodin Museum

We visited the stained glass studio of another expat originally from Minnesota. She’s Alison Grace Koehler and is a stained-glass poet. In addition to making permanent and transient stained-glass art, she has performed at various festivals, spaces, and events, including the Edinburgh Art Festival, the Galerie Arnaud Lefebvre, the Meeting Point Project, Irruzioni, the Poetry Brothel, the Espace Christiane Peugeot, and others.

Her poetry and art have appeared in various publications, including Yes The Void, The Opiate, Paris Lit Up Magazine, and Bioptic Review. Alison lives in Paris, and was voted 2018 Best Expat Artist by Expatriates Magazine.

We then went back to the city and had lunch at the fabulous Cafe De L’Esplanade.

The Rodin Museum was next and we learned a lot about his life I did not know. The building that the Museum is in was a mansion built for a financier. The Hôtel Peyrenc-de-Moras, as it was called then, was completed in 1732. It changed hands several times and eventually became a school. After the school closed, Rodin rented several rooms to store his sculptures in. It eventually became his atelier, where he had 50 people working for him.

Then in 1909, Rodin, at the height of his fame, began to agitate for the building to become a museum of his work. Rodin proposed to make a bequest of his property, his archives and the contents of his studio at the time of his death, the French government accepted and the museum opened in 1919.

We learned about his technique of creating the initial work in clay then his employees did the rest, making molds, casting, enlarging, etc. As with a lot of people who attain stardom it seems, he had an affair with Claudine Claudel one of his apprentices but would never divorce his wife. Heavy sigh.

The first photo below shows his gates of hell which was a large commission for a door surround. You will note that what we now call the Thinker is in the middle below the three figures. It was originally called the poet and it is believed that it was originally intended to depict Dante at the gates of Hell, pondering his great poem.

Day 6 – Montmartre – a walk – Shakespeare and Company again

Instead of calling my studio my studio maybe I’ll start calling it my Atelier.

We rode the Montmartre funicular instead of climbing the steps (thank you Jesus), and headed to the The Musee de Montmartre. The Museum is in one of the oldest buildings on the hill. It was built in the 17th century and is surrounded by gardens. It held the studios of many artists, such as Renoir, Emile Bernard, Dufy, Charles Camoin, Suzanne Valadon and Maurice Utrillo.

The garden is called the Renoir Garden, in memory of Auguste Renoir who lived there from 1875 to 1877 and painted several of his masterpieces on site. Many artists lived in Montmartre because it was outside of the city of Paris, so they didn’t have to pay Paris taxes, and the rent was cheap. The only vineyard left on the hill is right beside the Museum.

You see a lot of references to The Black Cat in this neighborhood. In its heyday it was a bustling nightclub that was part artist salon and part music hall.  From 1882 to 1895 the cabaret published a weekly magazine with the same name, featuring literary writings, news from the cabaret and Montmartre, poetry, and political satire. It was the subject of this iconic poster by Theophile Steinlenposter in 1896.

The lady in the red dress was singing opera and swishing her dress to address runners in a foot race.

We ate too much fabulous food on our visit to Paris, and none was better than that at Moulin de la Galette. I suppose you would call it a tourist restaurant, it’s the one with the only remaining windmill on top, but the food was excellent.

After a leisurely stroll we went back to the hotel to take a break then eventually headed out to walk to dinner. This night was dinner at Le Recamier, their speciality is souffle. The following photos are not all from that same meal! I seldom order a gin and tonic in the US anymore. More often than not the tonic is flat. Not in Paris!

You can take a ride in one of these cute 2CVs.

Day 7 – The Louvre – Tour Luxombourg Garden – Photo Lesson and Shoot – Last Day with Group

I wasn’t too crazy about going back to the Louvre. It does not contain the period of artwork that I like, it’s giant, and it’s always packed but I’m glad I went.

On my previous visit we did not see the walls of one of the original palaces. We learned a lot about the construction and how it grew through the centuries. In the photo to the right you would have been standing in the bottom of a moat. Click here to see a short and excellent video on youtube showing how the palace grew over 800 years.

Thank evening we had a photo shot at Luxembourg Gardens. I hate having my photo taken! I think it’s because I used to be skinny and had long blonde hair. But I went along with it. Our little group.

Day 8 – Solo Again – the Ritz and Neighbors – Passages – window shots

Four ladies left this morning leaving my new friend from California and I. We each went our own way for the day and met up for dinner. We woke this morning to chaos in the Square! Turns out they are setting up for a film shoot (or so we thought). So glad we got to see the square before it was covered up with tents. Whenever they cover up a significant structure they must have to post an image of what is behind the barricade on it.

Ritz Garden Paris - photo property of Janet Francoeur

I rode the bus to the Tulleries in a light rain. The weather has been perfect up until this day. But then it cleared up by noon.

I wanted to have a drink at the Ritz since I had had one in London at the Ritz there but they were setting up for lunch and the bar was full.

I did take a look around though and use their bathroom! It was beautiful of course! I also sat in their interior garden. I read that a lot of celebrities were staying there for Fashion Week but I did not see any.

Then I went in search of some of the passages. The covered passages of Paris are historical and architectural gems that date back to the 18th and 19th centuries. They are narrow alleys that connect different streets and are lined with shops, cafes, galleries, and other attractions. They have glass roofs that let in natural light and create a cozy and elegant atmosphere. They are also known as les passages couverts de Paris in French

There are about 25 covered passages in Paris today, mostly located on the Right Bank of the Seine. 

Before Haussmanns renovation, around a hundred of these passages existed.

My two favorites –

Galerie Vivienne: This is one of the most elegant and luxurious passages, with mosaic floors, neoclassical decorations, and high-end boutiques. It was built in 1823 and is located near the Royal Palace. 

Passage des Panoramas: This is the oldest passage in Paris, built in 1800. It was named after the panoramic paintings that were displayed there. It has a lively atmosphere with many restaurants, antique shops, and stamp collectors. It is located near the Grands Boulevards.

I wanted to buy a couple cards from the book store, so I started out in French “Je suis désolé mais je ne parle pas français” (“I’m sorry but I don’t speak French,” it probably didn’t come out quite that good.), to the gentleman, he immediately switched to English and said “you need to find a nice French man to teach you”, I replied, “Are you available?”, he said “yes.” And we both laughed!

I walked back through the grounds of the Louvre and Tulleries, then stopped at the Sennlier Store, tiny! I think it’s the original. And window shopped back to the hotel.

Day 9 – Bruges, Belgium

Just for the heck of it my friend and I decided to take a day trip to Bruges. She had never been and I had but was anxious to return. We were going to take the train and wander on our own but we found a tour through Viator where they drive you there, give a guided tour, and drive you back home. That way we didn’t have to worry about missing a train.

We didn’t have nearly enough time there but it reminded me of why I liked it so much the last time.
I’m not going to write much about the city this time, this is a link to my last visit that has a LOT more photos because I was there for several days. I still love it but there were a lot more people there than before. Last visit was in 2018.

Bruges Belgium - photo property of Janet Francoeur

Day 10 – The Marais

The name Marais means swamp in French and has narrow streets and traditional architecture of Medieval and Renaissance Paris.

This was my best day solo wandering in Paris – so glad I didn’t miss the Marais.

My favorite app for walking turned out to be a free one called “footpath”. I could lay my route out and it was much easier to follow than google maps.

The day started with a walk to Place Dauphine where I visited a patisserie and a stationery shop.

But before I even got that far did some window shopping, or should I say window shooting along the way.

The first photo below is from the Pont Neuf, 2nd one on the Pont Neuf.

I’m not a department store shopper, there is too much to choose from and I can’t focus, but read about the La Samaritaine so stopped to look. I was not disappointed. I didn’t even look at the clothes or the millions of purses, I was interested in the architecture, and the milkshake!

Then I ran across this giant mosaic serpent but I can’t find out anything about it online. It’s very large and close to a childrens garden.

Paris - photo property of Janet Francoeur

The snake and a childrens garden are above an underground shopping center, Westfield Forum des Halles, right beside The Church of St. Eustache. The church was built between 1532 and 1632. The shopping center was build where an old market stood, and then rebuilt again. The was much controversy about it and i guess there was a lot of drug dealing and so on in the park above, but I think that has been cleaned up. At least during the day it seemed quite safe and there were a lot of people using the park.

As far as crowds in the city – the Louvre was packed and all the tour boats on the river looked full, but in general most of the places I was at were not overcrowded – except Bruges which was somewhat of a disappointment but I still love it.

A few misc shots from the neighborhood. I watched the crow mess with this sandwich wrapper for about 10 minutes!

Next to the church is this head sculpture called Écoute, “Listen” in English, by the French artist Henri de Miller.

Listen sculpture Paris  - photo property of Janet Francoeur

So much in Paris is under renovation, for the Olympics next year I suppose. I was bummed to hear the Stravinsky Fountain at the Pompidou was under renovation but pleased when I got there that you can still see some of it even though the fountain is not running. They will be closing the Pompidou after the Olympics for 5 years for renovation.

And the star attraction of the day was the Musee de la Chasse and de la Nature, Hunting and Nature Museum. I am not a hunter but this was the most unusual and beautiful museum I have ever been in. The displays were very unusual and they even had beautiful places you could sit.

The staircases are outfitted with bronze decorative fixtures designed by Brazilian sculptor Saint Clair Cemin, and  and made to look like vines, antlers and tree branches. The ceiling of one room has been covered in owl feathers in a work called The Night of Diana by contemporary Belgian artist Jan Fabre. The museum’s rooms have names such as Room of the Boar, Salon of the Dogs and Cabinet of the Wolf.

This tree sculpture was created by Eva Jospin out of cardboard. It’s amazing.

Tree sculpture by Eva Jospin Paris - photo property of Janet Francoeur

The Église Saint-Paul-Saint-Louis is a Catholic church located near the rue des Rosiers. It was built between 1627 and 1641 by the Jesuits, under the patronage of King Louis XIII. It contains several notable paintings, sculptures, and relics, including a piece of the Crown of Thorns.

There are a lot of cute shops along the Rue des Rosiers, translated means the name means Street of the Rosebushes. It’s also the center of the Jewish and gay communities. I read that in the 1960s it was considered the armpit of Paris and was slated for demolition but the current mayors initiatives has revived the area. Sadly around the corner what was at one time a thriving area, Village-Saint Paul, doesn’t have much going on except a few antique stores and not many of those.

French soap - photo property of Janet Francoeur

I bought some french soaps from a shop. The young man waiting on me was born in Baltimore to French parents and has dual citizenship. He carefully wrapped the soaps in the shape of a hand so they would not lose fingers before I got them home. We laughed about what messages the hands might convey if only certain fingers were left!

One of the most unusual public clocks in Paris is the Defender of Time, or ‘le Défenseur du Temps’ in French. It is on the back of what looked like an Ikea store.

Defender of Time Photo Paris - photo property of Janet Francoeur

As originally designed, every hour from 9 am to 10 pm, the defender fought one of the three animals chosen randomly by a program. At noon, 6 pm, and 10pm, all three animals attacked at the same time. While the man fights, he was accompanied by sounds of breaking waves, rumbling earth or the sound of wind, depending on the animal chosen.

The clock has been out of commission since the early 2000s. But it’s still neat to see.

The Place des Vosges is the oldest square in Paris, it was originally known as Place Royale built by Henri IV from 1605 to 1612. It’s the only square or park that I saw that you could be on the grass.

Before going on this trip I was reading many facebook posts about what to wear so as to not stand out.

If you are an old lady dress like the 2nd photo below, very formal.

If you are younger wear solid muted colors, like photo number 3, maybe a scarf but not necessary. 99.5% of the people I saw were wearing tennis shoes and I saw about 3 people out of thousands wearing shorts.

I adhered to none of the above. But don’t think I stood out too much because I was asked for directions from a Chinese Couple and a German lady. Fortunately I was actually able to help both since they were carrying maps and I could point.

I also started out with a jacket, eventually switching to a long sleeved blouse by 11 am, and a real thin top by noon, and reversing the order as the late afternoon wore on. All of which I carried in a tote which came in handy when shopping.

By 5 pm I was beginning to drag but still got a few shots on the way to the hotel.

Day 11More wandering

Last day in Paris, at least this time around. I will have to say I loved where my hotel was, in the 6th, on Saint Sulpice Place, however if I was going to live in Paris I would probably live in the lower Marais. It would be more affordable and very diverse. I think you have to be pretty wealthy to live in the 6th.

I decided my travels this day would just be in the neighborhood of the hotel. It started out with a goodbye breakfast with my new lady friend from California. Most of the rest of the day was spent looking in the windows of the art and antique galleries and clothing shops.