Walking in Paris -- or any city -- is filled with surprises. Look up, down, behind you, to the left and right. Into shop windows or lesser known attractions. Inside, outside. All times of day. Some of these will mean nothing to anyone but me. But I hope some of these take you a bit off the well-beaten paths! (Although I couldn't resist my favorite Eiffel Tower photo!)
One of my all-time favorite memories was sitting in our friend Jerry's apartment, waiting for him to get home from work. We'd bought a bottle of wine and were tired from walking around all day. Nothing was more relaxing that looking out the windows at the rooftops and lovely blue sky.Paris at night. It's simply magnificent, especially after a lovely dinner on an early summer evening.
I loved all the boulangeries we saw (or at least loved their offerings!) but for some reason, this is my favorite photo of all of them. Maybe it's just that the bread looks so good! Rick and I bought sandwiches here to enjoy in Place des Vosges.
It's quite possible that the most delightful lunch we enjoyed in Paris is with blogger Peter Olson (Peter's Paris), as he took us through a long and fascinating walk in Montmartre. We started with champagne and olives and it was divine!
The Montmartre cemetery was a real treat with some well-known "residents" and beautiful gravestones. When we visited, I was captivated by this black and white cat. Gypsy was very ill during our trip and died several weeks later. I like to think that this cat was reminding me that a black and white cat that looked quite identical would come my way a few months later.
Also in Montmartre, the "I Love You" wall. Many people find and photograph this and I confess it's not the best photo, but I love it all the same.
I could fill this post with garden and flower photos -- Paris has wonderful greenspace and beautiful gardens. But this Montmartre wisteria just made me smile.
During the course of our trips we did more than a little shopping. On my first visit, solo, Rick asked me to visit the music district at Rue du Rome. It was pretty obvious by the signage in front of the various shops that musicians frequented this area.
So, when we returned together, we had to visit again, this time for Rick. It was a horribly wet day but that didn't stop us! (I should have brought along a book, as he spent a good deal of time trying out guitars!)
We were also attracted to wine stores (the wine section at Le Bon Marche)...
...and bread! Poilane was a must!
Of the attractions/museums or memorials that were most memorable to me, one stood out for its simplicity and the reminders of World War II -- The Mémorial des Martyrs de la Déportation (English: Memorial to the Martyrs of the Deportation.") Included in Architectural Digest's list of the "Ten Most Significant Memorial Buildings, its crystal light gallery for each of the 200,000 French martyrs murdered in deportation camps during the war is powerful.
(When you see a photo of the "back side" of Notre Dame and the Seine and note that black rectangular "window" in the wall at the very point close to the water, that is the memorial. It's very discreet.)
Another museum that many don't think to visit and should is the Musee Jacquemart Andre, a private home with a remarkable collection and special exhibitions.
I'm not sure why I love this photo of walking along the Seine and looking down as much as I do, but it just speaks to me of Paris and the power of a river to draw people to it.
There are so many wonderful places to rest during a long walk. The Jardin du Luxembourg has it all -- beautiful gardens, a wonderful fountain and a large pond where you are able to watch young people sail their boats -- or sail your own!
I leave you with a shop in Montmartre that isn't fancy -- indeed, I never went within. But I couldn't resist the sign!
If you were me, could you?