A Turn Left Off Mainstream Paris
A turn left off mainstream Paris. It sure does promise to be absolutely endearing! For the casual traveler, there would seem little hidden by the mammoth shadows of the Louvre, the Musee d'Orsay and the Eiffel Tower. One could not be more wrong.
A labyrinth of pristine chapels, works of art by Masters, engineering marvels, suave fashion boutiques, fine restaurants and historical landmarks. The whole city is a sight in itself. Every time you step out of your hotel, you are bound to be mesmerized. But is that all that there is to Paris? Read on, and I will take you through untrodden ways, forgotten alleys and hidden pastures. Good old Wordsworth comes to mind.
She dwelt among the untrodden ways
Beside the springs of Dove,
A Maid whom there were none to praise
And very few to love
- William Wordsworth (1770-1850)
Rainfall is erratic; you're just as likely to be caught in a heavy spring shower or an autumn downpour as in a sudden summer cloudburst. Paris' average yearly temperature is just under 12C (2C in January, 19C in July), but the mercury sometimes drops below zero in winter and can climb into the 30s in the middle of summer. You can find out the weather forecast in French for the Paris area by calling 0 892 680 275. The national forecast can be heard on 0 899 701 234 in French or 0 899 701 111 in one of 11 different languages.
A retreat into Quartier Latin (Recommended)
Location : 75005 - Latin Quarter | Rue Geoffroy Saint Hilaire
Take in a taste of the Oriental world amidst the glitter of the City of Lights. On Rue Geoffroy Saint Hilaire, you will find the most unexpected. Here is the Paris Mosque. While this little sentinel of Arabic architecture and customs is an unlikely attraction by itself, don't just marvel at the white facade with colorful stone ornamentations. Delve inside and you will be transported into one of those tales of Arabian Nights that we so loved many moons ago.
In the tea room, try out the mint tea, which for many, is the best they ever had the chance to sip. Cross the patio and you'll be greeted with an authentic Arab souk - right there in Paris. Haggle for the pretty or the bizarre and take a little bit of mystery back with you.
Malakoff - The Quirky Quarter (Recommended)
Location : Paris Suburb | Hauts-de-Seine department southwest of Paris
If you think that you have seen all that there is in Paris proper and its important suburbs, it is time to reconsider. Meandering on tender foot along the Paris borders, easily accessible by the metro, you will find the enchanting backwaters of Malakoff. Take a stroll to discover a potpourri of community life.
Here you will find 'cute' houses, charming bistro in the backyards , cats and potted plants decorating the windowsills of almost all the houses and colorful life full of smile.
Paris Pet Cemetery
Location: 116 bis boulevard Voltaire.
Now this is a far cry from Stephen King's work with the same name. Nevertheless, it is a matter of perspective of course. Staying on the prettier side, the Paris Pet cemetery is one of its kind. While the rest come to get a glimpse of the graves of the Grand Masters and tries to unearth the Roselin with the Da Vinci Code paperbacks in their hands and cameras around their necks, let us take a minute for our dear departed animal friends.
Marche des Enfants Rouges
Location : 39 rue de Bretagne, Paris, 75003 | 3rd Arrondissement, enter on rue Charlot
Established in the early 1600s, this is an ancient shopping area - the oldest covered market in Paris. Time has taken its toll; new facade replacing the original, but it still is home to countless cheese-mongers, colorful grocers and exotic vintners . To add to that, you will find a plethora of small restaurants in every turn, catering to all cravings; Italian, Japanese, French, Afro-Caribbean, Middle Eastern and more.
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