Feet on the street – Part 1


Cheese ladies chatting with passing neighbors

Nurse was resting her back today, so I revisited some neighborhoods that I know and love. 


Experienced Travellers always devise routes ahead of time that balance historical sights with local interest – and of course, food.  A walk  from the Latin Quarter to St.-Germain, through Embassy Row, past Les Invalides and back to the Ecole Militaire sounded just right.  Part I will focus on the Latin Quarter to  Place St. Michel. 

Reliable #82 dropped me near the Rue St. Jacques to begin my trek. I will never fear Parisian busses again.  It’s far superior to taking the metro, unless you’re in a hurry.

Riding the #82 bus through Montparnasse

The Latin Quarter has teemed with students, tourists, nightclubs and fast-food since the Collège de Sorbonne was established in 1253.  Would Abelard and Heloise be surprised by the Greek take-away and post-card vendors?  Perhaps our friendly Medievalist can weigh in on 13th century student life?  

The 5th is where you go when you need a gyro in Paris

Gyros on the Rue de la Huchette

For years, I’ve heard about an eccentric Latin Quarter hotel with a devoted clientel,  that has cheap rooms and unparallelled views of Notre Dame. (J-P A. may know of it)  Well here I was on the doorstep, so I asked to see a room.  Now, bear in mind this is 75 euros with no view – about the price of a Holiday Inn Express – and the maid was cleaning it.

A little too “La Boheme” for the ETs

I suppose it works if you’re young, tormented and writing quatrains about man’s inhumanity to man.  I didn’t inquire about availability.

But if you’re past the prime of youth, don’t despair.  Enjoy this memorable view of Notre Dame from the Place St Julien le Pauvre.  
This view doesn’t cost anything – found money!

Lovely old streets surround the church of St. Julien le Pauvre

Pondering medieval fast-food and tormented poetics gave me an appetite.  Much to my delight, I enjoyed the perfect omlette.  Lightly crusted on the outside, slightly runny on the inside, and filled with ham and cheese.   The new gold standard. 

The best omlette I have ever eaten. Thank you, La Fontaine St. Michel

Rested and restored, I set out to explore the 6th between Place St Michel and the Place St. Germain.  And an eerie experience on the Rue Grenelle in Embassy Row.  Watch for Part 2!

There’s going to be a transport strike here on Tuesday to protest the Government’s move to raise the retirement age to 62.  Limited train, metro and bus service will be fun to negotiate!

Ladies who Lunch at the Fontaine St. Michel

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10 Responses to “Feet on the street – Part 1”

  1. Ann Mason Says:

    With the black hat plus red corsage, she can only be coming from her ex husband’s funeral, did it for the children doncha know.

  2. Stephen Says:

    Well I guess that I’m probably the “resident Medievalist” in question, so here’s my thoughts…

    I suspect that Peter Abelard and his young lady friend would have been delighted with the Greek take-away food. They would probably recognize post card vendors as the modern equivalent of the many itinerant street vendors who sold religious relics and pilgrimage souveniers, badges and similar goods to pilgrims as they traversed the main trails to Rome, Santiago de Compostela and similar places of devotion.

    And, of course, Abelard would undoubtedly have taken his “niece” to Gordon Ramsey’s place for Lunch. Nothing changes…

    • Julie Says:

      Thank you Stephen for your comments. I suppose ETs are just like the medieval pilgrims – making change into the local currency, finding a comfortable place to sleep and arguing over the map. The tourism industry has an ancient tradition that I am bound to uphold.

  3. Jyoti Says:

    I finally got to go through all of these posts … so interesting they are addicting! I need to start counting up some “found” money to embark on a journey like this … except I think mine will be to exotic places in India, and AFTER the kids are done with college. Plenty of time 🙂

    Julie – you have such a gift with words … keep on blogging …

  4. Tim Says:

    The omelette looks fabulous. (Naturally, I zero in on the food!)

    I must admit that I never really thought of taking busses as the metro always seemed to be in reach of where we wanted to go. But I do love the thought of traveling above ground and seeing the sites!

    And madame?!? A Dungeon-mistress. The chainmail sleeves are a dead giveaway!

    • Julie Says:

      Tim it was a day for ladies. I also photographed a lady of a certain age who strolled by my table in hot pants. Maybe I missed the memo. And I am thouroughly devoted to the bus now. It gives me a new hobby – I can study the routes and learn the best transfers.

  5. Terry Says:

    JPA has been sent the link and consulted about cheap digs. An alternative: crash at the Shakespeare bookstore — no charge but you have to write an essay! I think you are up to the task ; )

    • Julie Says:

      Terese, I have used the library under the eves of Shakespere and Company. I would have to be very tired to think of sleeping there – or a very tortured poet. I will think about my essay topic.

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