So yesterday was Friday, and I decided I should do the walk titled Marais Part 1. Marais means marsh in french, and this part of Paris used to be all swampy and marshy! Until they started taking the water out and now voilà! It's really close to where the Church/Institute building we meet at is. It's quite interesting as the Marais area is now known as a place for the Jews to congregate (Saturday pretty much everything is closed), and also for the Gays. Two groups of people that have been persecuted throughout time. And then there's the Mormons.
Anyways, Chelsea was kind enough to show me around again even though she had already done it. She said it's a nice area, and she's quite right! It's really attractive and not many tourists at all go there. This time we didn't go into the really predominantly Jewish quarters. It was beautiful after the first 30 minutes of the walk when we were poured upon! So the pics may look nice but just remember that my hair was wet this entire walk because I didn't bring an umbrella since it was sunny when I left the house. Good ol' Parisian weather.
First thing worth noting on the walk is this wall. It's been here for a long time since Philippe Auguste aroun 1200 AD. Paris has become a lot bigger now. A LOT bigger. I guess it's not really that interesting. It's just an old wall but it's 800 years old!
We then walked past this place that I thought was a lock-smith. Look at those cool keys! Turns out it's just a antiques store that sells tools/old keys. And they were closed for this week's ski vacation. Yeah I know, pretty cool how they have a week off from school to go to the Alps huh? My host family went but the father got injured the first day and broke his leg so they came back early.
We then go to this beautiful square/garden/ park called Place des Vosges. It's so pretty and surrounded by these beautiful buildings. By this time it was nice and sunny and I was really enjoying myself. Henri IV who was a pretty smart king built the square, but he died before it was built. One side of the square was just for the royal family, but the other lots were sold to nobility who had to promise to build theirs with similar design to have one uniform look. I think neighborhoods should do that more often!
Then we went to Musée Carnavalet, a FREE museum that shows the history of Paris. It's actually pretty cool, and I was really impressed since Chelsea said it wasn't that good when she went in. But this time she really enjoyed it when we went to some different areas. Look at this replica below of the Bastille tower. It's actually made out of one of the original stones from the Bastille. The guy hired to destroy the building started selling these. He's a real businessman!
Also there was some cool stuff that belonged to Napoleon:
Next we have a walk that sees Paris in all of its' glory. Started out on Champs-Elysées, but we didn't go down it. We go to this bridge named after Czar Alexander III. It was built near the end of the 19th Century to show the strong relationship France had with Russia. Look at the halo around the sun too! We didn't notice it until Courtney pointed it out 20 minutes later, but it was hard to take pictures of it since we can't aim properly when the sun is so bright.
There's a pic of me on the bridge:
Then we went to the Rodin museum. It was way cool, I love the raw energy the statues exude. They are so big, and out there, yet so real. Their fleshy meat is imperfect yet so muscular, but also so realistic. That's the thinker. I spend the first 10 minutes of the time in the museum thinking about him.
These amazing hands!
And the Gates of Hell. I'm trying to figure out how I can get in.
I also looked at a few of Van Gogh's paintings. Then we headed to the EIffel Tower. I've already been here a few times and so I just took a few random pics. I've been collecting pictures of kis playing soccer or ball or whatever in the coollest places. Take a look at this one below:
I wish I grew up playing ball there!
Then we went to les Invalides, which is this musem place for the military of France. It was really big and really cool showing all sorts of weapons from the last few centuries. It even showed a few asian ones that I think they got from trading back in the day. Here's a cool Knight:
We were running out of time as the museum was closing and we only had an hour in it so I'll have to go back and actually look through the WWI/WWII exhibits in longer than 10 minutes. And also I want to check out the 19th Century weapons room. We skipped to Napoleon's tomb instead!
He actually did quite a bit of stuff and I can tell a lot of the French people there really respected him still. I remember in Choates history class learning about the equality he distributed to citizens, and the education he standardized etc... I guess France was in a mess after their revolution and he unified the country and made it another force in Europe!
Well that was a really fun walk! Ciao!
2 years ago