Day 5: Medieval Meanderings in the Marais

I didn’t realize it when I booked the apartment, but apparently le Marais (this neighborhood) is pretty much the  Paris equivalent of The Castro.  My street also happens to be the center of Paris’ Jewish district.  So that means I’m totally surrounded by good food, good delis, good bars, good shopping, and good nightclubs.  I’m not sure I could have found a better location if I tried.

I started the morning off with an early lunch at Open Cafe.  A double espresso (seriously, the coffee here is mind blowing) and a Tartine l’Italian made for super awesomeness.

In my perusal of the Lonely Planet City Guide to Paris last night, I came across a walking tour called “Medieval Meanderings in the Marais.”  Well, since that’s my neighborhood, I figured it was as good a place to start as any.  So when lunch was done, I fired up the GPS and went for a walk.

Medieval Meanderings in the Marais

The official tour started at the St. Paul Metro station, where there’s a carousel.   YEAH BABY!  CAROUSEL!!!

Then I wandered around the neighborhood looking at these amazing old buildings and the ruins of even older buildings that the old buildings had sort of absorbed and made part of themselves.

Le Marais translates as “The Swamp.” Apparently this whole area was Seine River swampland until it was converted to farmland, and then richpeople land.  Before Versailles, the royal palace was right in my neighborhood.  Of course, “The Swamp” being the gay district gives a WHOLE new spin to the things that went down on M*A*S*H…

Unfortunately, it seems that the Museé Picasso is still closed for renovations, so I won’t be able to visit, but hey, I lived within 4 blocks of it!!

It was only a 2km walking tour, so I was done relatively quickly, and made my way home to start the work day.  Shortly after I arrived, it began to rain, which made being inside with Nutella, bread and my laptop all the more pleasant…

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