Friday, March 5, 2010

Walk 10: Playing Hooky in the Latin Quarter

Two walks down, and the day was still young, so Rebecca, Rosalie, and Idecided to keep going and finish one more walk, this time in the Latin Quarter. The walk began at the Fontaine Saint-Michel, and, lucky for us, it was actually warm enough in Paris for the fountain to be on!

Tired from our long day of walks, we spent some time sitting in the gothic Église Saint-Séverin. The church offered a nice juxtaposition of new and old, since it dates back to 1495 but has a mixture of 14th and 20th century stained-glass windows. Since the days are getting sunnier here, the windows left a beautiful pattern of colored light on the floor.

We then passed through a neighborhood of 17th and 18th century homes and the oldest café in Paris, Le Procope, where the likes of Diderot, Rousseau, and Voltaire liked to hang out. Then came a big disappointment. We were all set to get the chocolate religieuse at Bonbonnière de Buci, which Olivier claimed was the best in the city, but, alas, it was closed. Swallowing our disappointment, we continued past various art galleries, catching a glimpse of the École des beaux-arts, the art school of the French elite. Because of the chill coming on, we kept our time along the Seine pretty brief, but we did check out the Académie Francaise, where the “immortals” regulate the French language (and which was founded by Richeleiu, Louis XV?’s right-hand man).

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