Paris … secret passages and hidden treasures..

17 October 2014

Who can not love Paris? This was not my first trip to this wondrous city and I am determined to return, yet this time I found some beauty I had not explored before. Yes, we did the icons. MLP's first trip to Europe, you see.

Le Tour Eiffel, lacework and engineering. Yes, we went to the top. Does anyone not go to the top?

A hazy day, but that view.

Napolean's Tomb and its golden dome, proud and majestic.

And a few days later we wandered back at night to see her.

And then she sparkled.

It's not possible, surely, to go to Paris without visiting her.

But outside our airbnb apartment we found a secret passage.

I didn't know about Les Passages … Passage des Panoramas, Passage Vivienne, Passage Jouf-froy … until I read Delicious Days In Paris by Jane Peach and I had no idea they were right on the doorstep, virtually, of our airbnb apartment.

My brother led us through a shortcut he had found and I was gobsmacked. This was one of them.
"One of what?"
"Les Passages!"
"I've read about them. This is one!"
And it was.
They were designed in the 1800s as glass-roofed structures to protect the strolling women from the rain. They were able to stroll, promenade, shop at their leisure and to pass from one passage to the next with very little time at the whims of the weather.

And they are graceful, elegant, stunning. Everything an 1880s shopper could want. Some are restored and populated by up market boutiques; some are home to antique book and postcard shops; others are not so well tended, but just as fascinating.

Add Les Passages to your must-see list in Paris.

Another secret near our airbnb was Marché Montorgueil. A local market street filled with sellers of all things wonderful: fruit, cheese, mushrooms, fish, flowers and, of course, coffee and meals.

A foodie's heaven. Well worth a visit, even if it's only for a coffee and a stroll.

And, after many visits to Paris, I finally went to Opéra Garnier. What a masterpiece. Previously I have merely wandered past, but this time we ventured in. Wow!

It's decoration is so OTT. I was overwhelmed. No wonder it is world renowned.

The gold. The chandeliers. The Chagall painted ceiling.

And the Phantom in the basement. That Phantom … of the Opera … THAT phantom … in the basement.

How amazing would it be to attend an opera here?!?

Mmmm, add to to-do list for next visit.

Have you any secret passages

or hidden treasures

of Paris to share?


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