Paris Walks Brings Famous Sinners and Saints Alive

July 14, 2010 | By | Reply More
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There are tours.. and then there are experiences that introduce you to the soul of a city so that it lives with you always. We experienced such a tour experience with Paris Walks during a walking tour of the Marais.

Peter - Paris WalksPersonally, I usually hate tours; I always feel like cattle be herded along, never quite hearing everything. Therefore, when Susan said we were taking a Paris Walks tour, I humored her and consented. After all, aren’t we the experts? Well, grab your camera and head out to meet Peter Caine, the co-founder of Paris Walks for a memorable 2 hour exploration. Unlike most tours that require advance reservations, anyone is welcome to join a Paris Walks tour by arriving at the designated Metro stop at the predetermined time.  We scanned the online calendar of tours and chose to learn more about the “Sinners and Saints” of the Marais, and what a fabulous time we had.

Marais medieval houseA little history lesson first, the Marais district has beautifully preserved medieval houses, ancient cobbled streets, lovely churches, intriguing antique shops, and devine boutiques and food shops  in the Village of St. Paul. The Marais is also the Jewish section, where you will see the Wall of the Righteous and the Shiloh project.  And the Marais is where the French Revolution fermented and exploded with the storming of the Bastille.  Over the centuries it has been a buggy swamp, a the chic address for noblemen and Kings, fallen in favor, and is now again the much desired arrondissement address in Paris.

The Shilio Project

What makes Paris Walks different than any other tour experience is simply, Peter. Peter is at once a dynamic entertainer and a skilled teacher.  He set the foundation for our tour by taking us to a garden and setting the stage.  In a circle, we all became the map of Paris.  Peter led us through the development of the city from marauding tribes in Medieval times, to the rein of multiple Louis,  through to the Nepoleans.  Marais Food MarketPeter is animated and engaging in everything he says. He makes you feel as if you were actually there, and of course, the anecdotal tales of characters are fascinating. We heard humorous tales of cross-eyed Cathy who gave a unique education to the teenaged Sun King.  The architecture was beautiful, but it will be the tales inhabitants that I remember most.  Peter’s animated style and group participation made this tour #1 in our book, and we recommend Paris-Walks without hesitation. The Marais tour meets at the metro St. Paul every Saturday at 10:30 am and costs 12 Euros, quite the bargain!

French Cheese BoardOur Tip: Arrive early to see the markets open and display their amazing produce, and stay on after the tour to shop in the wonderful boutiques and lunch in the cafes. I bought the most amazing scarves at Jocelyn’s and the most delicious cherries at the market. We drooled over the cheeses all 365 kinds.

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Category: Featured, France, Paris Travel Tips, Paris Travel Tips