With all of Sunday stretching ahead of me and all of Paris to explore, I decided to walk around Le Marais for the day. Someone at work had said it was a really great place to just get lost in, and one of my books (I’ll make a list of what I’ve been reading soon), had recommended it as one of the few places in Paris still lively on a Sunday.
It wasn’t too far to Arts et Métiers on the métro from where I’m staying, so I was there by 12:30 and ready to wander after some food. I’d read in a couple of my books and had been told that the Marché des Enfants Rouges (39 Rue de Bretagne, 75003 Paris) was a great place to eat and to spend a Sunday afternoon. Apparently it’s the oldest covered market in Paris (early 1600’s), and is named after the ‘Red Children’, actually young boys wearing red coats and cared for by the nearby orphanage.
It started pouring it down with rain just as I stepped out of the métro station, but thankfully it wasn’t too far to the market. It was wonderful inside – bustling and full of amazing smells from all the different food stalls. Almost split into two halves, it had fruit, veg, meat and fish stalls on one side, and lots of tiny restaurant/food stands on the other. The variety was incredible, with Japanese next to Italian next to Lebanese. And everything smelt so good. I’d forgotten to draw out cash though and nowhere would take my card, so I left. But will definitely be back, the food all looked amazing.
I grabbed a quick sandwich and as it was raining so much, I switched plans, and decided to find a museum to wander round instead. Le Marais can wait for another day. The Pompidou Centre was really close, so I made my way there, and was a bit confused when I first found it. It looks like a building site, except it isn’t. Completely at odds with all the typically Parisian buildings around it, I guess that’s the point, but really it’s a pretty ugly place.
The centre is absolutely massive and was more than enough to fill half a day. So I paid the 14€ entry and made my way to the top of the museum and worked my way down. The views from the 5th floor were incredible, and there’s a restaurant on the very top that is supposed to have some of the best views in Paris. But that’s for another day.
I’m not normally interested in modern art, but I absolutely loved wandering around the gallery. It was completely pretentious but I loved it for that, and made my way from Picasso to contemporary – and it was fascinating! There were even a couple of cinema-like screen rooms dotted around showing artsy films – interesting for a little while and then I started to feel a bit sleepy. Having seen all of the galleries, I made my way back to the bookshop at the entrance (would be amazing if you could read French), and could hear classical music playing from the ‘Forum’ in the basement. This is a performance space and also has a cinema inside (like I said, this place is huge). A man was performing a contemporary dance piece – again I’m not usually a fan – but it was… engaging, and had a much larger audience than I would have expected!
In all the museum was actually really interesting. I wouldn’t quite say I was a convert to modern art, but I’ll definitely keep more of an open mind next time!