Paris -where do I start?
I had enjoyed my outing to Montmartre with Cleo, but now I had to figure out things on my own.
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.
Once outside I looked at the map and tried to figure where I was in the scheme of things.
I would come to a pretty large park called Place des Vosges.
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.
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.
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Blair T. Paul
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