‘It’s a little district in the centre of Paris. It is full of cobbled streets and teetering apartment blocks and gay men and orthodox Jews and women of a certain age who once looked like Brigitte Bardot. It’s the only place to stay.”
– Jojo Moyes, Me Before You
Our first Apartment is in the Marais. I love it! The Marais is the quartier historique, charming, pretty, very old Paris.
We wind our way into the tiniest of cobble stone lanes, drag our bags out of the cab and begin a most amazing adventure.
My love manages the security code and swings open the huge heavy doors revealing the inner courtyard of our apartment block. Little window boxes with flowers cascading from them, adorn the windows over looking the courtyard, some with their shutters open with colourful fabric billowing out. Bicycles are lined up on the internal cobbles.
As we start our way up the wonderfully wobbly, up and down levels of this very old building, we find our host Chris. He and his most gorgeous dog, Monsieur Junior MJ (look him up on facebook he has his very own account) show us up and down and up again the deeply furrowed and old staircase to our little apartment.
After the required too many merci’s Monsieur Junior and his master leave us to it. The apartment is small and quaint. We have a pretty view of the internal courtyard, a tiny little kitchen and an even tinier bathroom.
I can’t wait to get out on the historical streets of the Marais and explore, so after a quick refresh we are out the door, hoping we can remember the special sequence of wrist flick, hip bump, shoulder barge that was demonstrated as the way to open it again.
We head out, into the throng of people that fill the Marais on a weekend, we wander through narrow cobblestone lanes with buildings so old that some are leaning in toward the road. So many colourful shop fronts and awnings, hip fashion stores, cafes, restaurants, specialty knife stores. I am loving the wonderful eclectic vibe here; as well as its beauty steeped in history.
We’ve discovered that we are in the jewish quarter and the social heart of Paris’ Gay community. I love hearing everyone around me speaking French and I can’t help but notice how stylish everyone looks. You couldn’t find a more perfect place than the Marais for people watching. I just love it.
My first afternoon in Paris and our first afternoon in Paris together was beautiful. Exhausted from our flight we head back to our apartment for the evening to rest and be ready for our first full day tomorrow.