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Paris -where do I start?

March 28, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

  I had enjoyed my outing to Montmartre with Cleo, but now I had to figure out things on my own.
I locked the door at 2 Rue Pecquay and struck off up the street towards Rue Rambuteau. Almost immediately I saw an overhead sign saying Canada Travel...interesting...I must go in and check it out.

Once in the door, I was met at the counter by a beautiful woman who said “Bonjour monsieur”. “Oh,bonjour”, I said, “my French is very poor, do you speak English?” “Yes”, she said with a smile, “where are you visiting from?” “I am from Ottawa”, I said,”my first time in Paris.” “I am from Montreal”, she said, “and I just started working here two months ago.
My name is Lynda”. “A pleasure to meet you, my name is Blair”, I said. “Would you like a little map of Paris to take with you?” she asked. “That would be great”, I said, and she handed me one from under the counter. “Come in any time if you need help,” she said with a smile, “always nice to help a fellow Canadian.” “Thank you very much, I will”, I said,”...see you later then.”

  Once outside I looked at the map and tried to figure where I was in the scheme of things.

I recognized about where I was, and could see that if I continued east down Rambuteau.

I would come to a pretty large park called Place des Vosges.
It was a very warm, humid day in Paris again, and being out doors in the fresh air seemed like a good idea.

Most houses have no air conditioning, including Joe's, so it was starting to get stuffy by the time I had finished breakfast.
I hadn't slept all that well either, as being in a strange place sometimes does to you.

I had a bag with my sketch book, pencils, and water bottle, as well as my old reliable camera over my shoulder. Time to strike off.

I walked east along Rue Rambuteau admiring the architecture and marveled at the insane traffic.

Cars, trucks, motorcycles, buses, bicycles and pedestrians all rushed about, struggling to get to their destinations.

Vehicles were parked at weird angles in any space they could find.

I can't imagine having to face this congestion every day to get to work, but somehow it all worked , like some well choreographed dance.

   In about ten minutes I entered one of my favourite shops...the patisserie, and gazed hungrily at all of the beautiful creations upon their shelves.

They had everything...breads of all kinds, pastries that were glazed, plain, covered with fruit, and anything else you could think of.

I bought two pain aux raisin because they  looked especially great, put them into my bag and headed to the park.

  Just down the street to the right I could see tall trees towering above the concrete and traffic.

Ahhh...Place des Vosges park...an oasis in the mayhem! It was built in 1612 by King Henry IV as a tranquil show place in the heart of Paris.

It measures about 140m x 140m and is surrounded by beautiful red brick buildings constructed in the same design.

The acclaimed writer Victor Hugo had lived near by. What a wonderful space!
A large monument honouring King Louis XIII stood in the south east corner and a grand fountain spouted water in the center of the park.

Small benches were placed on all sides of the park and many people sat under the trees enjoying the shade and peaceful surroundings.

Small children ran about and splashed their hands in the fountain. I saw an empty bench and sat down... now this was the place I needed to find!

  I sat almost all day, just enjoying the feeling this place gave me.

I made a quick sketch of the fountain and took photos of people just sitting around enjoying the park as I was doing.

People need some form of Nature in their lives no matter where they live. Parks are not a luxury; they are a necessity...relief for the tired mind.

I knew that this would not be my only visit to the park. If the heat continued I expected to be here almost every day....and I was.






© Blair T. Paul, all rights reserved
Edited and posted by: Chris MacFarlane Photography



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Blair T. Paul

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