Zara scarf, Monoprix hat, watch c/o Daniel Wellington,
In light of recent horrific events in Paris, I wasn’t quite sure if I should post today’s travel diary, which traces quite literally one of the most magical days of my entire trip spent poking through what felt like hundreds of shops in Le Marais and visiting Notre Dame as the sun began to creep towards the horizon. I realized though that now is actually the perfect time to post. I lived in Bordeaux for a spell as a teen, French is my first language and now most recently, I got to truly experience the indescribable beauty of Paris. It’s a part of the world that is extremely dear to me and my heart truly aches for everyone affected by the attacks in Paris on Wednesday. I like to think that in a small way, today’s travel diary is a testament to and reminder of the true spirit of Paris – a place so magical, so special and so spell-binding that nearly everyone who visits the city leaves changed a little (or a lot). Click through to take in this beautiful day with me!
Le Marais, stretching across le 3ème and 4ème arrondissements, was easily my favourite part of the entire city, especially Haut Marais in the north. It’s about as quintessentially Parisian as it gets, and as much as it’s a tourist hot-spot, there are still plenty of incredible cafes (not too overpriced if you take time to poke around), plus my favourite market in the entire city: Le Marché des Enfants Rouges, established all the way back in the 1600’s. Of course, tons of great shopping – Le Marais is an incredible area for vintage (nabbed these sunglasses that day!) plus Parisian classics like Maje and The Kooples. For years, Le Marais was also where much of the city’s Jewish community lived, so the kosher bakeries that dot rue des Rosiers are a must-visit. When I came back to Paris again on my Europe trip (couldn’t keep me away!), rather than exploring some of the peripheral areas of the city that I hadn’t gotten to, I decided to just explore more of Le Marais since I was so incredibly in love with the area, crossing over to the Rive Gauche after awhile to explore the 6ème arrondissement.
But on this beautiful day, myself and Andrea, my mum’s best friend’s daughter and a local Parisian, wandered down to Notre-Dame after Le Marais on the Île de la Cité before heading over to the 6ème and went inside the church (which is free to do but expect a bit of a line!). The church has such a long and incredible history that I can’t remember well enough to recount it properly, but as Andrea rattled off some facts about one of the city’s most historic landmarks, I remember just being truly overwhelmed with a sense of history. We just simply don’t have history like this in Canada – we were only formed in 1867 so while our First Nations have history that stretches back centuries, as a country filled with immigrants we really can only trace our history back over a course of a few generations.
But with Paris, the history is ingrained in the city’s culture, in the buildings, the streets and the families that live there. Parisians live their thoroughly modern lives while jetting around the city on roads that were built on farmland centuries and centuries ago – it’s something that never fails to just baffle and awe me. Kind of like when I think about space too hard, but less scary and more exciting (space just mostly straight up scares me). My mum’s best friend’s husband told me how as university students, they would go down in the sewers and poke around, some students even sneaking away with skulls or bones left underground in catacombs from the revolution. I mean…what?! I just wanted to soak in all the history while I was there, all the stories that I could hear and the sights that I could see. Paris has more than stood the test of time – it’s a place where an infinite amount of life and love and triumph and revolution and art has taken place. I can’t stress enough that my trip there truly changed me and opened my eyes. I can completely see how artists and creative types have flocked there for centuries because there is something so moving and inspiring about the city that once experienced, is entirely impossible to replicate or find elsewhere.
And with that, I’m signing off for the weekend! Happy Friday, friends! I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and join me in sending thoughts to everyone in Paris and in France itself who have been affected by the attacks earlier this week. #JeSuisCharlie