We walked back to our hotel, and promptly fell asleep. Unfortunately, I woke up at 2 a.m....wide awake. I watched a little America's Next Top Model in German and then checked email and surfed the net before finally dozing off again.
The time change got to me, for whatever reason. This morning, we were up and out the door at 8:15. Quite a feat considering how groggy we both were! It was very cold, windy, and cloudy, but I had a half-day workshop scheduled with photographer Sophie Pasquet of Better Paris Photos (http://www.betterparisphotos.com/). Krista and I took the Metro to Saint Paul Station in the Marais, where we met Sophie in front of what was Victor Hugo's home on the Place de Vosges. This is the oldest (1605) planned square in Paris. Probably best known as the author of Les Miserables and The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Hugo lived there from 1832 until 1848. I had not been to this area before, and it was so impressive! The architecture in Paris never ceases to amaze me, from the very smallest details to the entire buildings. Sophie gave very good instructions to help me become a better photographer, and the session was well worth it.
It continued to be windy and freezing cold, so we stepped into a cafe for chocolat chaud, and to review some photographs I had emailed earlier to her. Again, very helpful! After bundling back up, we walked around the Marais. A historic district in the third and fourth arrondisements, it was once inhabited by aristrocrats. As they moved further west into the Saint Germain area, it became known for its large Jewish community. The Marais was home to many factories, and was considered a working-class neighborhood. We loved that you could still step into small courtyards and alleys, and leave the noise of the city completely behind. It was easy to imagine the area as it was in its prior life, and, even today, there are many furniture makers and upholstery shops where we visited.
The old buildings in the Marais have such character...it is really an enchanting place.This first photograph is difficult to decipher, but it is a store selling musical instruments, and it was lovely.
Here's Sophie, taking a shot or two of her own!
Before I knew it, my time was up, and we walked back to the Metro, passing this swan door knob on the way.
We got off at the Musee Louvre stop, and headed for lunch at a nearby cafe. From there we walked to the Louvre's Museum of Decorative Arts, before finally going back to the hotel for a short catnap!
Krista and I have decided that it is still possible to see Paris AND take a short nap in the afternoon. In fact, it was delightful to do so today! Afterwards, I firmed up plans for tomorrow on the phone with my friend, Geni, who will meet us in Chatou at 10:30 a.m. to show us the bi-annual brocante and jambon market...yes, antiques and ham. Can it get much better that THAT? We'll take the Metro, as well as the train, and hopefully not end up in Helsinki. Following the planning, Krista and I walked around the neighborhood. It was still cold and windy, but we managed to get down to Montparnassee, stopping at a grocery store and a bakery, before returning to the hotel so that I could start my blog post prior to dinner.
We just returned from dinner at a small Italian restaurant on Vavin, where pasta and wine hit the spot. Until tomorrow!