The view from the window of our apartment in The Marais was straight out of a historical fiction novel. I don’t think we saw a single building in Paris that was less than 100 years old. The attention to detail was awe inspiring and each one more fanciful than the last. Parisians really live within their city, the bottom floors filled with shops and cafes leaving the upper levels as flats for people to reside. This is a fairly new trend in the US, but in Paris, people have been doing this for centuries.
There were several occasions when we were sure we had found the L’Arc du Triomphe. We soon learned from the locals that Paris has many arc du triomphes. Above is the most spectacular one we stumbled across, built in honor of Louis XVI in Saint Denis as we shopped for fabulous accessories to bring home to our stores. Just past this arc was another unexpected surprise, as we saw the local “Ladies of the Night” come to the front of each alleyway umbrellas in hand at 5pm sharp.
Ah, the Seine River. The first day of our trip was grey skies and rain, but that didn’t stop us! In fact, it was part of the charm and a nice departure from our sunny winters in Los Angeles. We walked by dozens of nurseries, home decor shops and pet stores before we made it to the Louvre and many other world famous institutions. This particular bridge passage over the Seine took our breath away. Massive statues of French royalty and saints with carvings and ornamentation on every pillar. The most spectacular of these designs, were the gilded pegasus that sat atop of each of the four main pillars. Reminding us once again, how old and rich this city is, steeped with culture as old as the Roman occupation in Paris.