Monday, December 5, 2011

Sunday in Paris ...with Walking Tours

Today I decided that I wanted to try one of the walking tours that is offered for free.  SO they were not actually free, but the guides worked for tips.  I LOVE being amongst the local folks and to be one of these guides you had to be a native Parisian.  The first tour included the area around the Opera house, including the Ritz, Harry's Bar (where Hemingway spent a lot of time) and other sites.  Philippe IS AN OUTSTANDING TOUR GUIDE!!!!  He was informative and funny and used to be in the ballet. We ended up looking out over the area between the L'Orangeries at the end of the Tuileries Gardens, where royalty was beheaded.  Unfortunatley there was that darned ferris wheel smack dab in the midst of such awesome history. 

I decided to join him on his second tour of the day to the Marais.  I am so glad I did.  We started out at the Metro at the end of this area.  This area originally was a swamp, that flooded everytime it rained.  After much renovation and other historical events( read french history if you are unterested) the area is now one of the most hippest parts that includes the Jewish community as well as the gay community.  There were beautiful mansions and art gallery's in little beautiful renovated town homes with courtyard gardens galore.  Honestly having found accomodations in two different parts of Paris, the ambiance of this quaint litle area, was actually what I expected all of Paris to be like.  The streets were narrow and the shop keepers welcomed you in.  This is an area where fashion is predicted a year ahead. Phillipe shared with this group that the Stein exhibit was a hot item to see (but it is coming to the US in Jan - Feb in NY....guess where I will hopefully be?) while in Paris ...but that the lines would be long.  I have to say...if I were to start my trip all  over, I would have taken all of Phillippe's tours earlier in the week.  It was pouring down raining when the tour ended and we departed from Phillippe.

Between tours, I did get some photo's of Coco Chanel's office/shop which  was one of those emotional moments for me.  Even though she had a dark side (what woman does not) she is an original fashionista, whom I have admired for the quality of her work and the ground breaking decisions she made popular for women  LIKE NOT WEARING GIRDLES!!!

What a way to end my Parisian adventure!!!  When I get home, I will pour through the photo's I took and post them......


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