Instilling a Love of Travel

Travel is a challenge right now. One, we have a toddler, two, he is not vaccinated, and three, travel is not the same yet. Since we have been hermits for more than the past year, Edwin has missed out on experiences we were hoping to give him. For example, we have taken Edwin out to eat once. He screams when he wants something, he makes a lot of noise when he is happy; in other words, he doesn’t have the best manners when it comes to dining out. Another example – since Edwin has made the switch to his crib, he has not slept anywhere else. I so want Edwin to grow up a traveler with wanderlust, but I’m scared to actually start trying. So what do we do?

We are starting by beginning a new installment of his monthly photos. For the first year of his life, he was featured as a superhero in a fictional setting with a character represented by his dad. For this second year of his life, the theme will be travel destinations. Each month will feature a different European location with a photo taken by me. Edwin will be donning clothing from that country and I will join him on his travels. Although these images are photoshopped, I’m hoping by highlighting something important to us and capturing a moment around a theme, he will find an appreciation for travel. Edwin definitely loves superheroes, so it worked the first time around, right?

Beyond the photos, we are hoping to actually take Edwin somewhere this summer. We are going to start with a sleepover at pops’ house, but then, hopefully, venture all the way to Indianapolis. Baby steps, right? ūüėČ

The background in this image spotlights one of my favorite places in Paris, Notre-Dame on √éle de la Cit√©. I took this image in 2013 while going on a fl√Ęneur. Here is a post I wrote for that walk. Edwin’s outfit is brought to you by La Redoute; a French fashion retailer. The font for la vie est belle (life is beautiful) is Vincent Van Gogh’s handwriting. The decorative border is in one of our favorite styles – Art Nouveau. Although Van Gogh and Art Nouveau are not originally from France, they flourished there.

Below are some small excursions we have enjoyed so far this summer.

Travel Journey of the Week: Provence

Gordes2Traveling in the spring is my favorite time to explore.¬† Since I’m moving my Spain trip to the spring, I thought I’d share another trip that is great to do before the hot summer days set in: Provence.¬† Share your experiences with us.¬† Here is how you can contribute:

1. Each Sunday, a place will be set as the theme (it could be a city, landmark, national park, etc.)

2. If you are familiar with the place and would like to contribute, you will write a post and title it Travel Journey of the Week: Provence.  If you’ve already written a post about Belgium, feel free to share it in the comments section!

3. Your post can be any medium that works for you; videos, photos, descriptions, itineraries, personal memories, poems, ticket stubs, etc.

4. Finally, be sure to provide a link back here so everyone can connect and share their own take on the place: ‚Äé

Travel Journey of the Week: Provence

If you’ve never been to Provence, here is a snapshot of a possible itinerary along with some photos.¬† I included the days of the week because seeing the markets of Provence is definitely a highlight.¬† Our home base was Avignon.

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Sights to See


Isle Sur la Sorgue

Market Day



Hill Town


Ochre Cliffs


Pont du Gard



Drove Through/Lunch


Old City

Roman Ruins


Aix en Provence

Market Day



Market Day

Roman Ruins

Forum Square

Van Gogh Walk



Maries de la Mer


Travel Journey of the Week: Paris

Rooftops-of-ParisFor the first journey, I thought I’d pick the place that I last visited.¬† There is so much that can be shared about Paris, so hopefully this will be an easy topic for our first challenge.¬† What makes the city so great?¬† Here is how you can contribute:

1. Each Sunday, a place will be set as the theme (it could be a city, landmark, national park, etc.)

2. If you are familiar with the place and would like to contribute, you will write a post and title it Travel Journey of the Week: Paris.

3. Your post can be any medium that works for you; videos, photos, descriptions, itineraries, personal memories, poems, ticket stubs, etc.

4. Finally, be sure to provide a link back here so everyone can connect and share their own take on the place:

Travel Journey of the Week: Paris

Many people try to go to Paris to see it all.¬† After visiting five times, I have yet to see everything that I want.¬† So often we are limited on time, and difficult decisions must be made about what to do, and what has to be cut out.¬† If you are visiting Paris in the future, but don’t know how to prioritize your sightseeing, here are my recommendations.¬† The top ten list below is based on my personal experiences and interests.¬† Consider your own passions to determine what will work best for you.

1. Take a Cooking Class- I loved the company, Cook’n with Class because we went shopping at the local markets to find the best ingredients.¬† From there we developed our menu based on our finds and personal tastes.¬† It was an experience that will stay with me forever.

2. Walk Along the Seine- The French enjoy strolling, especially in the evening.¬† Be Parisian, and fl√Ęneur your way through the city.¬† Don’t have a plan on a destination, just walk and take it all in.

3. Visit the big Museums- To save time and energy, visit the artwork/exhibits that are appealing to you rather than walk mile after mile trying to see it all.¬† In the end, you will have to accept that you can’t see it everything.

4. Walk Side-by-Side with Hemingway- The left bank has a magical feel that is inescapable.  Whether you are winding through the narrow lanes of the Latin Quarter, or looking to meet up with Gertrude Stein at the Luxembourg Gardens, you feel the writers and artists presence in the neighborhood.

5. Climb up to Montmartre- See the touristy streets and square, but also wind your way up the back alleys and streets.¬† There are so many gems to stumble upon.¬† If you visit the right areas, you’ll be able to feel the life of this village that artists like Van Gogh and Lautrec breathed in.

6. Hang out at a Cafe- Take your time.  Find a good spot to absorb the life surrounding you.  Let the ambiance be your muse.

7. Eat- Try the specialties of the area.¬† You don’t have to dine at the most expensive place in town to find good food.¬† Picnics are a great frugal option packed with flavor.¬† Look for plat du jours at restaurants to take advantage of the best food of the day.

8. Take a River Cruise at Night- Paris is known as the city of light, and seeing the glow of the architecture is best from the Seine.  Sit back, relax, and watch the lights sparkle all around you.

9. Check out the Marais- The Marais is diverse with the Jewish Quarter, historical sights, shopping, and the gay district.  Grab a falafel and take it to the Place des Vosges to watch people live in the outdoor space.

10. Sit Along the Canal St. Martin- Stop at the local Franprix to grab some snacks and a bottle of wine.  Find a spot on the canal with a good view, and enjoy your company.

Paris by M√©tro: R√©publique

republique-1427République at a Glance

Lines=3, 5, 8, 9, 11


Tip=There is more than one exit for this metro.  Knowing the street you want to exit on can save you some time and walking.

Sights Within 1 Kilometer:


Canal Saint-Martin-450m

Chez Prune-600m

H√ītel du Nord-800m

Pink Flamingo-850m

Jardin Villemin-1km


H√īpital Saint-Louis-1km


Place de la République-63m

Marché des Enfants Rouge-650m


Porte Saint-Martin-650m

10th Arrondissement Passages (Reilhac, Brady, Marche, Prado)-1km

Sight Details


Canal Saint-Martin: If you look in most guidebooks, you probably won’t see much mentioned about this area, but it has become one of our favorites.¬† This is not the area you go to for world-class museums or breath-taking architecture.¬† The Canal Saint-Martin area is where you go to find trendy restaurants, discount shopping, and people.¬† Each night in the summer, dozens if not over a hundred people line the canal to enjoy the night.¬† They bring their snacks and drinks to just take in life.¬† The ambiance is different than most areas in Paris.

If you visited this area several years ago, you will probably see a difference.  The area has become safer and more friendly.  One area contains diverse cultures while just across the rue you will find the bobos of Paris.  Perhaps it was the scenes in Amélie where she is skipping the stones in the canal that brought attention to the area.  Whatever the reason, be sure to add it to your list of sights to see.

Chez Prune: This is the kind of restaurant you could visit each day and never have to order the same meal.  The menu is created daily to reflect what is fresh.  The prices are reasonable (12-15 Euros) for a generous portion and endless flavor.  Look below to see what kind of meals you could be savoring.

H√ītel du Nord: The name is a little misleading considering that this is no longer a hotel, but is now a restaurant.¬† There are about four tables out front, but once you pass the doors, you walk into instant charm.¬† The dimly-lit restaurant is a great place for a nice meal or a relaxing drink.¬† This was one of our favorite places for a nightcap.

Pink Flamingo: The hipster pizza place was on my list, but unfortunately I never made it over there.¬† Imagine the summer light in the late evening reflecting off the canal as you sit with your balloon, waiting for your order to arrive.¬† You’ve probably already opened your bottle of wine as you sit and drink with many others around you.¬† The delivery man kneels down to give you your pizza and you take it all in as you enjoy your evening by the canal, as so many others do.

Jardin Villemin: Parisians crave green space and this is the living room for families, couples, students, and so many others around the area.  The park is lively with a man playing guitar over by the trees and little ones being chased by their dads.  This is a place to just hang out.


H√īpital Saint-Louis: Hopefully you don’t have to visit the hospital on your trip, but it is worthy to know where it is located and the story behind it.¬† During the 17th century, this hospital was built to deal with many suffering from the plague.¬† Be thankful for our improved medicine.


Place de la République: The place has been recently renovated to provide a space used for many purposes and reduce traffic accidents.  The area now includes not only the statue symbolizing the republic but also a gathering place for people.

Marché des Enfants Rouge: The covered market is supposed to be one of the best in Paris.  Be warned that hours are somewhat flexible.  I went a couple hours after they were supposed to open to find that some were setting up while others were not even present yet.  I recommend coming around lunch time to enjoy the full potential of the market.


Porte Saint-Martin: Parisians seem to love their arches.  This arch was built in the 17th century to replace a medieval gate.

10th Arrondissement Passages (Reilhac, Brady, Marche, Prado): I know I’ve mentioned passages before, but these passages are a cultural experience.¬† While walking with a guide I was told to hold my purse tight.¬† I felt no danger, but the area is a collection of many ethnicities.¬† While walking down one passage you may think you’ve been transported to India, while another will take you to Africa.¬† The scene has a different feel at night, so be sure to go when you are comfortable.

Best of Canal Saint-Martin Walk

Paris by M√©tro: Saint Sulpice

St. Sulpice in the background.
St. Sulpice in the background.

Saint Sulpice at a Glance



Sights Within 1 Kilometer:


Les Deux Magots– 300m

Café de FloreР300m

Saint Germain des Prés- 350m

Delacroix Museum– 550m

Oscar Wilde’s Hotel- 650m

Seine/Quais- 900m

Pont des Arts- 1km


Saint Sulpice– 300m

Man Ray’s Home and Studio- 350m

Musée de Luxembourg-500m

Palais du Luxembourg– 650m

Luxembourg Garden-800m

Original Location of Shakespeare and Company- 700m

Place Saint Michel-1km


Gertrude Stein’s Home- 650m

Sight Descriptions:


Les Deux Magots/Caf√© Flore: Many tourists visit these restaurants to be surrounded by the same environment of great minds like Hemingway, Picasso, or Morrison.¬† Food and drinks are pricey, but if you follow some of the literary greats, it almost feels like a requirement to come.¬† I wouldn’t plan on starting the next new writing movement here because it is crowded, noisy, and distracting.¬† Perhaps the air is filled with greatness and you will be successful no matter what.

Saint Germain des Prés: The oldest church in Paris can be found on the famous Boulevard Saint Germain.  Here is another example of gothic architecture.

Delacroix Museum: Most of us know the artist Delacroix for his painting Liberty Leading the People.  His home was turned into a museum of his work.

Oscar Wilde’s Hotel: This hotel is where the exiled Wilde passed away.¬† Perhaps you’ve heard his famous last words, “either this wallpaper goes, or I do.”¬† Apparently the wallpaper won.

Seine/Quais: Find a good spot on a bridge and watch the ebb and flow of people travel down the river.  The quays along the Seine are perfect for strolling or a picnic.  Life is good watching the world go by on water.

Pont des Arts: This bridge is an outdoor art museum.  Parisians love walking down the busy bridge or bringing a small picnic to enjoy over the Seine.


Saint Sulpice: The church gained some of its fame from The Da Vinci Code.  Although the holy grail cannot be found here, bellowing organ music can be heard.

Man Ray’s Home and Studio: If you are a fan of the artist, you may want to walk past Man Ray’s previous residence. This sight is closed to the public.

Mus√©e de Luxembourg: Many paintings found in the Mus√©e d’Orsay were once showcased in the Mus√©e de Luxembourg.¬† Now the museum features changing exhibits.¬† Be sure to check the website for current exhibitions.

Palais du Luxembourg: The palace was built for Marie de Medici to remind her of the Pitti Palace in Florence.¬† Unfortunately, she wasn’t really able to enjoy the palace because her son sent her to exile.¬† The palace is now the home of the senate and office buildings.

Luxembourg Garden: The gardens flowing out from the palace are one of the many living rooms for the Parisians.  While pacing through the gardens you may come across a group of older men playing pétanque, a little tike riding a pony, children chasing their sailboats on the pond with their sticks, or a fountain revealing danger for two lovers.

Original Location of Shakespeare and Company: There is nothing to suggest that this used to be the famous bookstore frequented by Joyce or Hemingway, but it is the location of the Shakespeare and Company we’ve learned about.¬† Although the current Shakespeare and Company was never owned by Sylvia Beach, it is still worth checking out.

Place Saint Michel: The fountain has seen some challenging times in Paris history.  From uprisings against the Nazis to student demonstrations in 1968, the cove that forms Place Saint Michel has heard people standing up for what they believe in.  Venture through the streets in the surrounding area to find hidden corners of the Latin Quarter.


Gertrude Stein’s Home: If you are lucky, someone will open the door leading to the courtyard as you pass.¬† If this moment happens, sneak inside to see Stein’s salon.¬† Imagine the people that walked through these doors to see famous works of art.

Paris by M√©tro: Abbesses

Abbesses StopAbbesses at a Glance



Tip=Use the elevator.  There are a lot of stairs.

Sights Within 1 Kilometer:


Mural of Je T’aime-52m

Picasso’s Studio-300m

Espace Salvador Dali-400m

Moulin de la Galette-500m

Renoir’s Home-500m

Montmartre Vineyard-600m

Square Suzanne Buisson-600m

Musée de Montmartre-650m

Au Lapin Agile-650m



Place du Tertre-400m

Sacre Coeur Basilica-550m


Van Gogh’s House-450m

Cafe des Deux Moulins-500m

Museum of Erotic Art-600m

Moulin Rouge-650m

Montmartre Cemetery-750m

Sights Details


Mural of Je T’aime: If learning how to say “I Love You” in another language is a goal of yours, then this wall is for you.¬† Most of the worlds languages are represented on this blue-tiled wall.

Picasso’s Studio: The studio burned down in the 70s, but it has been since rebuilt.¬† Picasso’s studio is named after the bathhouses that would be found on the Seine at the time.

Espace Salvador Dali: The museum mostly recognizes Dali’s sculpture work.¬† Other artists are featured as well.

Moulin de la Galette: The restaurant is the inspiration for Renoir’s painting title after the name of the place.¬† Most tourists see the fake wind mill that was added as the restaurant expanded.¬† Look further back to see the once working wind mill that is now someone’s home.

Renoir’s Home: This is another home that can’t be visited on the inside, but is one you can walk past.

Montmartre Vineyard: The wine is not known to be good, but its location gives it popularity.  You truly feel like you are in a village as you pass the vines on the hill.

Square Suzanne Buisson: The lush park is surrounded by beautiful architecture.  Standing headless in the park is St. Denis.  Nearby is also a bust of the lusty Dalida.

Mus√©e de Montmarte: This is one of my favorite small museums.¬† The museum is the former residence of Utrillo and Renoir’s studio.¬† I’ve never seen a crowd.¬† The garden is a wonderful escape from the city.¬† The history of the area is well captured.

Au Lapin Agile: This traditional cabaret was the stomping grounds for artists like Renoir, Utrillo, Picasso, and many more.  The performances are in French, but the entertainment feels authentic.  The red-lit room provides a more edgy feel.  Sip on your brandy with cherries as performances keep you entertained.


Funicular: Montmartre is built on a hill, and there is an option for bypassing stairs: the funicular.  Simply use a metro ticket to ascend to the butte.

Place du Tertre: The square filled with touristy restaurants and artists is charming and hectic.¬† It is worth walking through, but you can’t help but feel that everyone is just trying to get your money.

Sacre Coeur Basilica: This church looks much different than others you’ll find in Paris.¬† Admission is free, but be sure to enjoy your time around the church as well.¬† Many people settle on the steps in the evening to watch the city before them.

Unfortunately, there have been more scams forming over the years.  As you are coming down from the basilica, make sure you watch out for men that are trying to put on friendship bracelets.  They put it on and knot it before you can react.  Then they demand payment.  Being aware will keep you safe.


Van Gogh’s House: This is a site to pass by, unfortunately not one you can visit.¬† Van Gogh lived here for about two years during a time when his art really transformed.¬† Influences such as Lautrec helped form Van Gogh’s style we know today.

Café des Deux Moulins: Any Amelié fan will recognize this café.  In the film, she worked as a waitress at this restaurant.

Museum of Erotic Art: I haven’t visited this one, but it gives a feel for the area.¬† The Pigalle neighborhood is the red light district of Paris.¬† Shops filled with unique devices and posters of bare ladies dominate the area.

Moulin Rouge: Although the wind mill has never been a functional one, it is one of the most recognized wind mills in the world.  Walk past it while you are in Pigalle, or stop for a show if it is your cup of tea (or absinthe).

Montmartre Cemetery: The residents are not quite as famous as Pére Lachaise cemetery occupants, but there are definitely tombs worth visiting.  Some names you may recognize include: Dalida, Degas, La Goulue (invented the can can), and Zola.

Paris by M√©tro: Palais Royal-Mus√©e du Louvre

LouvrePalais Royal-Musée du Louvre at a Glance



Sights Within 1 Kilometer:


Palais Royal-180m

Galerie Colbert-550m

Galeries Vivienne-600m


E. Dehillerin-600m

Les Halles-900m*


Pont Neuf-900m

Rue Montorgueil-950m



Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel-350m


Louvre Museum-220m



Place Vend√īme-800m

Mus√©e D’Orsay-1km

Sights Details:


Palais Royal: Unfortunately you cannot get into the Palais Royal, but you can enjoy the interesting courtyards.  Each courtyard has its own style.  Of course there is the typical garden, but there is also an artsy, playful courtyard with varying heights of black and white striped stumps rising from the ground.  If the weather is not pleasant during your visit, take shelter under the arcades filled with restaurants and shops.

Galerie Colbert: This is not a shopping passage like many in the neighborhood, but an art and history institute instead.  You will need to pass through security to go in, but walking under the rotunda and glass ceilings is worth a peek, especially if it is raining.

Galerie Vivienne: This is probably one of the more extravagant passages.¬† The stores are high-end and they are encased in a passage full of tile floors and a glass ceiling that gives a sense of a different time.¬† Passages are found all over the city, and they can be a great refuge from the rain.¬† Although I’ve only shared two passages within a kilometer of the metro, there are several passages worth visiting nearby.¬† If your feet can handle a little more walking, you might want to check them out.¬† If you’d like more information about a great walk in this neighborhood, view this blog post.


E. Dehillerin: This is the coolest cooking store I have ever been to.  If you walk in, you might mistake it for a hardware store or a garage.  The shop has occupied this space for a long time and was a favorite of Julia Child.  The prices are reasonable and the quality is lasting.  They even have a unique way of purchasing your items.  To learn more about how the store works, check out this blog post.

Les Halles: The famous market where Parisians would get their produce for home and restaurants is no longer here, but a shopping center has taken its place.¬† Even if you aren’t up for going to the mall, there are still many other activities you can engage in while in this area.¬† Inside the mall you can find a cinema.¬† There are great stores outside of the mall to browse, and a typical market street just steps away.

Saint-Eustache Church: Located in the Les Halles area, this church is a beautiful example of Gothic architecture.¬† You’ve probably seen the flying buttresses from other areas in the city.¬† Step in for a concert or walk around and imagine the funeral of Mozart’s mother or the baptism of Moli√®re.

Pont Neuf: The bridge is not ornate, but it is known as the oldest bridge crossing the Seine in Paris.

Rue Montorgueil: Rue Cler and Rue Mouffetard get the most hype when it comes to market streets, but Rue Montorgueil is in the same caliber.  Branching off from Les Halles you can find a wide selection of fromageries, boulangeries, boucheries, and every other unique food shops.  This is a great place to find the perfect spot outside at a café to watch people go by as you enjoy your lunch.


Seine/Quais: If you walk south, you will eventually run into the Seine.  Find a good spot on a bridge and watch the ebb and flow of people travel down the river.  The quays along the Seine are perfect for strolling or a picnic.  During the summer, they have different entertainment along the quays.  Art, restaurants, and other fun, creative elements can be found here.  Life is good watching the world go by on water.

Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel: Not the Arc de Triomphe we are all familiar with, but a version about half the size.¬† This arch was built to celebrate Napoleon’s military victories.


Louvre Museum: Inside the palace walls are the big names of art.¬† You’ll find Mona, Venus, Napoleon, Cupid, and Psyche along with miles of other paintings.¬† There are entire books dedicated to this museum.¬† To actually get into the museum, I recommend entering down by the Carrousel, and having a museum pass will make it even easier.¬† Everyone seems to wait outside by the pyramid, this is not the only place to get in.¬† Keep that in mind.

Tuileries: The palace gardens extend from the Louvre.¬† There are a variety of activities that visitors can participate in on any given day.¬† During the summer, the carnival is open with the giant Ferris Wheel.¬† Even finding a reclined green chair near a pond makes for a great energizer.¬† If you look around, you may even see someone famous sitting next to you at the caf√©.¬† Gabriel Byrne from Little Women and Stigmata was enjoying a caf√© on our right one day at the park.¬† If you have a little energy left in you, go to the end where you’ll find l’Orangerie and Place de la Concorde.

Angelina: The restaurant is best known for its pricey hot chocolate.¬† I’ve heard it said that the chocolate will take you over and never let you forget it.¬† Don’t eat a big meal before going because the thick chocolate can be filling.

Place Vend√īme: The square plays an optical allusion on your eyes as you gaze at a rectangular place that appears to be more octagonal.

Mus√©e D’Orsay: This house of impressionism is located inside an old train station.¬† If light and capturing a moment is your flavor of art, this museum will amaze you.¬† Van Gogh, Monet, Manet, Renoir, and many more famous impressionists are located within the walls.¬† Just as a heads up, no photos are allowed.

Suggested Walks
This is one of my favorite walks in this area.¬† It is not your typical tourist walk, but you get to see what comes to mind when you think of Paris.¬† You don’t necessarily have to start at Palais Royal, but if you do, you are treated to a nice shopping street until you get to the cooking store.

This can be a very long walk if you go in both the Louvre and d’Orsay.¬† If you are just searching for fresh air and a nice view, then this is perfect.¬† Warning: many other people may be searching for the same thing in this area.

Moment in Auvers-Sur-Oise, France

Chateau 1Auvers-Sur-Oise is a great day trip from Paris.¬† As I sat on the train, I imagined I was Van Gogh, Monet, or another impressionist escaping to the countryside.¬† If you’d like to know more about the town, you can check out my blog post about it.

Here is a video I took while at Dr. Gahet’s home (Van Gogh’s doctor).

Paris by M√©tro: Saint-Paul

Marais-7663St. Paul at a Glance



Tip=There is an escalator towards the center of the platform that you can use to go up.

Sights Within 1 Kilometer:


Agoudas Hakehilos Synagogue-130m

Mona Lisait Bookstore-210m*

Bibliothèque historique de la ville de Paris-250*

Musée Carnavalet-300m

Musée National Picasso-600m


Saint-Paul/Saint-Louis Church-69m*

Village Saint-Paul-270m*

Sully H√ītel-290m

Place des Vosges-550m

Maisons de Victor Hugo-550m


Opéra Bastille-800m


Arab World Institute-1km*



Île Saint-Louis-550m



Rue des Rosiers-350m

Memorial de la Shoah-350m

Hotel de Ville-600m

Mus√©e d’Art et d’Histoire du Juda√Įsme-950m

Centre Pompidou-1km

Sight Details


Agoudas Hakehilos Synagogue: You can’t go into the synagogue with an Art Nouveau exterior, but you get the sense that you are in the Jewish Quarter as you see the students and priests stepping out of the doorway.

Mona Lisait Bookstore: Although this bookstore doesn’t have the historical significance of Shakespeare and Company, it is a bargain store with its own charm.

Bibliothèque historique de la ville de Paris: A local guide shared with me that this library is a great place to sneak into on a rainy day.

Musée Carnavalet: This free sight holds the history of the revolution time period.  The floor creaking under your feet is a reminder that you are in an old mansion.  Make sure you visit the courtyard with the pristine shrubbery.

Mus√©e National Picasso: I’ve yet to be in Paris when this museum is actually open, but it has been on my list each time.¬† After the renovations are complete, you will be able to see the different mediums of art Picasso created.


Saint-Paul/Saint-Louis Church: The church built with a dome tried to rival St. Peter’s in Rome, but it doesn’t come close to the grandness.¬† If you look carefully at the decor you will find a mesh between Catholicism and Paganism.¬† You will even find a Delacroix painting.

Village Saint-Paul: The shops are higher end, but the hidden passageways lead to green courtyards away from the crowds.

Sully H√ītel: In the 1600s, the rich craved closeness to King Henry IV.¬† This former mansion is a great passageway to the Place des Vosges.¬† If you are looking for a place where you can sit and hear the birds chirping, find a bench in the courtyard.

Place des Vosges: The square established by Henry IV and the residence of Victor Hugo is a place for families, friends, and couples to congregate.  On a fair weather Sunday you will find that this is one of the outdoor living rooms for Parisians.

Maison de Victor Hugo: The residence of the famous writer overlooks the scenic Place des Vosges.  The free entry provides a view into the life of Victor Hugo and the place where he wrote most of Les Misérables.

Bastille: Although the prison is no longer here, this neighborhood is a growing hotspot for restaurants and shopping.  Standing in the middle of the roundabout is a memorial to those that stormed the Bastille to free the prisoners and take the arms.  If you want to learn more about the history of the Revolution and the Bastille, you may want to consider checking out the murals in the métro stop.

Opéra Bastille: Not as extravagant as the Opéra Garnier, but that is the point.  This opera was built to downplay the elegance of the expensive Garnier.

Boulangerie: Seeing the line extend outside the door hints at the quality of breads and pastries that wait for you at 28 Rue Beaumarchais.  I have never found so much enjoyment in a baguette as I have from this boulangerie.

Arab World Institute: The goal of the institute is to build an understanding between different cultures.  The unique architecture holds art, history, and a library to bring people together by banishing the lack of knowledge about the culture.


Seine/Quais: If you walk south, you will eventually run into the Seine.  Find a good spot on a bridge and watch the ebb and flow of people travel down the river.  The quays along the Seine are perfect for strolling or a picnic.  Life is good watching the world go by on water.

Île St. Louis: This island is home to the best ice cream in Paris: Berthillon.  Walking the streets, you feel like you are in a village making it is easy to forget that you are in the city center.  Hear the accordion player in the background as you window shop with your glacé in hand.

Bouquinistes: Vintage books, posters, and affordable souvenirs can be found in the little green boxes lining the river.  You may come across an abundance of American pop culture, but if you dig through and visit several bouquinistes, you can find the perfect gift for someone else or yourself.


Rue des Rosiers: The pedestrian street is the heart of the Jewish quarter of Paris.¬† Visit bakeries and little shops before stopping to get falafel.¬† L’As du Falafel is supposed to be the best, but I preferred King’s Falafel.

Mémorial de la Shoah: Located in the Marais, this memorial educates the visitors about the holocaust while honoring the Jews that died.

H√ītel de Ville: The city hall houses free exhibitions for the public.¬† The esplanade out front changes throughout the year.¬† Sometimes you will find sand while another time you might find a green space has taken over.

Mus√©e d’Art et d’Histoire du Juda√Įsme: Jewish history is explored in this previous mansion.¬† Learn about the traditions through artifacts and the story of the religion and its people in France.

Pompidou Centre: The three major art museums in Paris are organized by time period.  The Pompidou houses modern art from famous artists such as Picasso, Warhol, etc.  The architecture offers a peak at the bones of the building.

Suggested Routes

Best of the Marais

Jewish Quarter

I’d love some feedback on this week’s Paris by M√©tro.¬† I made some changes from last week.¬† What do you think?