Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Medieval Paris and the Knights Templar

Hooray for visitors! Jon and I had dinner with the lovely Tamara and her boyfriend, Kris, on Friday evening. We went to a little bistro in our neighborhood called Le Rousseau where Kris and I both got the Duck Confit- yum, yum! A great time was had by all, and I can excitedly say that I shouldn't really refer to Kris as Tamara's boyfriend anymore as they were engaged in our fair city on Sunday! So, Felicitations, mes amis!

Megan and Tyler arrived on Saturday, and knowing what good sports they are, I immediately dragged them over half of the city in pursuit of adventure. We took them to lunch and a little wander in the Les Halles district before walking Jon to work over at Place Vendome and then wandering back up to the Temple district to go on a Paris Walk (I was perhaps a bit overambitious as we were pretty pooped by then and the real walking tour hadn't even started yet!). Nevertheless, the Grunewalds never complained, and I think we all had a really good time.

Paris Walks is a spin-off from the popular London Walks company. Jamie introduced me to these guided and themed tours of the city, and I must say that if you have never done one in either town, I highly recommend them. The guides are incredibly knowledgeable and interesting, and the tours themselves always let you learn a thing or two (or three or four...). Megan, Tyler, and I took the Medieval Paris and the Templars tour. Here's a bit of what we saw:

Mary-Ellen, our guide.

One of the almost 200 working sun-dials in the city.

Remnants of the 12th-century wall surrounding the Templar's city
(see my previous post about this)

The tower from the monastery of St. Martin, saved from destruction by Victor Hugo.

Temple Church, now the Musée des Arts et Métiers.

Paris's Oldest House, which just happens to have belonged to the alchemist, Nicolas Flamel!

Le Tour de Jean Sans Peur (John the Fearless), a powerful duke of Burgundy who had grand designs on the French throne.

The place where Henri de Navarre, Henri IV, was assassinated.

We ended up pretty much where we began our day, in the Les Halles area. After grabbing a few pints at a nearby Irish pub, we headed home to a pizza dinner and an early bedtime for the weary travelers. I must say that the Grunewalds were incredibly hearty travelers for having been up for almost two days straight (that flight over is a doozy). Their efforts were to be well-rewarded the next day, however. But that, my friends, is another post...

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