Meandering Through Paris – Part 5 – Miscellaneous Meanderings

We woke up to pouring rain on Wednesday morning. But not to worry, we already had a plan for such a day…we had learned that the #69 bus which stopped right outside our hotel would take us across the city to the Eiffel Tower…reputed to be one of the cheapest sight-seeing tours in Paris. So we hopped on and grabbed good window seats and settled in with camera in hand to enjoy the ride. Alas, it was pouring so hard that we could barely see out the window, so we really don’t have a clue what we passed, and were able to get only a few decent pictures from inside the bus. But it was still fun, and we did manage to see a few things toward the end of the ride when the rain let up enough for us to see out the window.

From the Eiffel Tower, we decided to take another bus with the idea of stopping when we saw something that interested us. That bus turned out to have another great route, taking us past The Louvre (with very long lineups even in the pouring rain) and other sites. Finally the rain stopped and we got off the bus to wander around, stumbling into what turned out to be the best stop of our entire stay in Paris – the Lindt chocolate shop! While others were browsing the esteemed Louvre and elegant Versailles, we were in 7th heaven in the Lindt shop, LOL. We stayed for quite awhile, taste-testing anything they wanted to offer us. It was hard to drag ourselves away, but after about an hour in there, we figured maybe we should see what else was out there in the neighbourhood. We found the Lafayette store – an enormous department store full of designer labels – and people pushing and shoving their way everywhere we tried to go. I found it overwhelming and uncomfortable, but we headed up to the top floor to get some soup in the food court and souvenirs before finding the quickest way out.

We decided to hop back on the bus to go back to the hotel and drop off all of the bags we were toting around (mostly chocolate) and then head right back out to explore the Ste-Antoine area we had noticed along the way earlier that morning. We fell in love with that little stretch of Ste-Antoine…interesting shops, colourful ambiance and affordable boutiques, and an ancient church whose doors were wide open to welcome us in. We wished we had known about it earlier, but c’est la vie in Paris. There are many of these little gems tucked in the lesser known corners of Paris. We were just glad we HAD found it at all.

We had great fun sampling and choosing some cheese, wine, pastries and fresh generously-topped pizza focaccia and then toting it all back to our hotel for a wonderfully Parisian supper.

This was our last night in Paris, and these are the last photos before we head to Berlin. I’ve included some pictures of another church that we visited on Thursday morning as well. We had been seeing the spires from our hotel window for the past seven days and decided to go and have a look. A far lesser-known church than Notre Dame, but very warm and tranquil inside. I could have sat there for a long time, it was so peaceful and welcoming there. But we had a train to catch, so we lit some candles for friends and left Paris for the second part of our vacation.

Next stop: Berlin.

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This is called the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel, built by Napoleon I between 1806 and 1808.

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The ever-iconic Eiffel Tower

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Andre at the Eiffel Tower

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Sharon at the Eiffel Tower

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One last picture of the Eiffel Tower

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The glass roof of the Grand Palais des Champs-Élysées, which was built for the 1900 World Fair

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I’m not entirely sure, but think that this might be the side view of the Grand Palais des Champs-Élysées

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Beautiful doors that we passed after we got off the bus to meander

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Andre is investigating

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This beautiful building is The Palais Garnier, a 1,979-seat opera house built from 1861 to 1875 for the Paris Opera (credit for info: Wikipedia)

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Beautiful detail in the statues at The Palais Garnier

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Another view of the statue at The Palais Garnier

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Eastside facade of the Palais Garnier

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Aha! Look at that smile! We spent over an hour in here, browsing the colourful displays and taste-testing everything they wanted to give us. This might well go down as our favourite stop of all in Paris.

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One of several bins full of Lindt chocolate of every kind. We sampled a lot and bought even more. My favourites were the cappucino-flavoured ones.

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And more Lindt chocolate. We left the shop with my knapsack as full as possible.

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The Galeries Lafayette’s flagship store…an upscale French department store…we only explored one of the three buildings. Six floors of never-ending designer labels – and crowds of people rushing everywhere we wanted to go. We didn’t stay long, but it was interesting to walk through.

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And now we’re on the rue Ste-Antoine in the Marais district of Paris. This is the side facade of the Hôtel de Sully, a huge mansion built around 1625.

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It was very difficult to find info on this. It’s the Temple du Marais, a Reform (Protestant) church built in 1632.

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Construction of this church, named Saint-Paul-Saint-Louis, began in 1627, when King Louis XIII laid the first stone and took 15 years to complete. On rue Ste-Antoine.

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Saint-Paul-Saint-Louis on rue Ste-Antoine in the Marais district of Paris (17th century)

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Saint-Paul-Saint-Louis on rue Ste-Antoine in the Marais district of Paris (17th century)

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Inside the church of Saint-Paul-Saint-Louis on rue Ste-Antoine in the Marais district of Paris (17th century)

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Beautiful ceilings in the Church Saint-Paul-Saint-Louis on rue Ste-Antoine in the Marais district of Paris (17th century)

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Lots of lovely surprises looking down the various sidestreets, in the area of rue Ste-Antoine in the Marais district of Paris

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I love this door! Somewhere on rue Ste-Antoine.

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And these were my very favourite treats in Paris…they’re called macarons (not to be confused with macaroons, which are very different treats). Macarons are French meringue-based cookies, filled with various flavours of ganache, jam or buttercream. They were surprisingly expensive, which may have been a good thing, otherwise I would have eaten hundreds of them.

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More French macarons. They melt in your mouth. My favourite flavour was the green one, pistachio. Even now, I still crave one!

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We had been seeing these church spires from our hotel window for a week, and finally decided to go find it.

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Well worth the hunt, this was a beautiful old church just minutes from our hotel. Saint-Ambroise was built between 1863 and 1868. From Wikipedia: “In front of the church a small public garden includes a sculpture honoring sixty years of Catholic Aid, donated by local residents and sculpted by G. Chance”. We sat in that lovely little park to wait for the church doors to open.

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Saint-Ambroise church in the Saint-Ambroise quarter of Paris

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Saint-Ambroise church in the Saint-Ambroise quarter of Paris

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I love this tree, in the park in front of Saint-Ambroise church in the Saint-Ambroise quarter of Paris

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Saint-Ambroise church in the Saint-Ambroise quarter of Paris

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Inside Saint Ambroise church

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Stained glass windows in Saint-Ambroise church in the Saint-Ambroise quarter of Paris

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Stained glass windows in Saint-Ambroise church

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More stained glass windows in Saint-Ambroise church

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Saint-Ambroise church

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Very simple, but tranquil and warm inside Saint-Ambroise church

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Inside Saint Ambroise church, I lit candles for Ruth and other family and friends.

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Copyright © Sharon C. Matthies, Meanderings (blog), 2014. All rights reserved.
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About Sharon

I love to write. I love to write myself into being right here right now. Writing releases something in me that needs wings, writing opens doors and windows that I often don't even realize are possible, writing helps me breathe out the dusty old, and to breathe in the new and possible. My hope is that maybe writing here in this blog will bring new light into these dusty old hallways and help me to clear out the thinking processes and mindsets that just don't work for me anymore. I seek to breathe new light and life into the nooks and crannies of a soul that has been feeling somewhat lost and frayed because of the last few patches of road I've had to travel.
This entry was posted in Bastille-Marais, Paris, Saint-Antoine, Travel and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Meandering Through Paris – Part 5 – Miscellaneous Meanderings

  1. Hey Sharon, great article,… and I can relate at being overwhelmed by the crowds. When we were in Paris the last time, the only line we waited at was at the Eifel tower. We were there with our sons during their Spring break…Maybe all the French children were still in school then. Figure. I had to laugh at your description of the Lindt chocolate shop. You’d go nuts in Germany around Christmas. Can’t wait to read and see about Berlin!

    Like

    • Sharon says:

      Thanks, Angelika. If we ever go to Paris again, I would zero in on the few places where I would like to spend more time, like going up in the Eiffel Tower and the Sainte-Chappelle, which I hadn’t even heard about until today!

      I’m looking forward to reliving Berlin too, though I’m not sure I’ll remember the names of all of the places we visited. I’ll have to research the Internet quite a bit for those blogs.

      Like

  2. I love old churches for the architecture, and the carvings, and the stained glass. So beautiful.

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    • Sharon says:

      Me too, Ruth. I’ve often thought it would be neat to go on a “Stained-Glass Window Tour”, that would take us through many different cities and churches. Hubby’s not keen on visiting church after church, but I would love to explore as many as possible anywhere and everywhere.

      Liked by 1 person

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