Rebecca arranged for us to have the services of a Paris greeter to help us get oriented. We were contacted by a nice gentleman names Jean-Jacques who offered to walk us around the Latin Quarter.
Since it was our first full day in Paris, it was raining, and we weren’t familiar with the area, we took a cab to Luxembourg Gardens to meet Jean-Jacques promptly at 9AM. He led us on a mad dash in the rain through the Sorbonne District, an interesting area with lots of older buildings.
In fact, this is one of the oldest sections of the city since this was the area settled by the Romans. We saw two Medieval shop signs–a large key and a tree–representing a locksmith and a woodworker? Lumberyard maybe. The last one had me puzzled so if anyone has any ideas, chime in!
We could see the Pantheon, formerly the Church of Ste. Genevieve, in the distance. We saw some nice courtyards and lots of interesting doorways, including carriageways with large double doors. Jean-Jacques said this was a popular if not respectable section of the city in the 18th century. University areas are usually eclectic.
One of the more interesting places we stopped was the site of a Roman arena, now used as a playing field. We could see the stone bleachers where viewers sat and the caged areas below the bleachers where the wild beasts were kept. Now the cages are used to store folding chairs. Much safer but less interesting.
At 10:30AM we stopped for coffee and to rest our legs and feet. Jean Jacques was a marathon walker and I was often rushing to catch up after stopping to take a photo. Sadly, some of the photos didn’t come out because of rain drops on my camera lens. The rain slacked off while we were having coffee, so the rest of the walk was more pleasant.
After our walk, we took the Metro back to our hotel, the first of many trips, for lunch and a chance to rest out feet. I had salmon in sorrel sauce with basmati rice and it was delicious.
Next week, the Louvre, but watch for my report on the baking class we took after visiting the Latin Quarter. I’ll try to get it up tomorrow or Friday.