Fun Facts & Tips
- A quaint little market street right in the heart of the Saint-Germain area, rue de Buci is constantly alive with activity and colour and therefore constitutes one of the best people-watching vantage points in Paris, a veritable window into Parisian daily life.
- If you intend to sample the delights of le Musée d’Érotisme and are driving there, a word of warning. When parking in boulevard de Clichy take care not to mix up the Durex and Parkeon machines. Once of my mates did, only realising he had done so when the money he inserted resulted in a condom popping out, rather than his parking ticket. Onlookers were royally entertained.
- I am not sure who counted them but according to one official publication there are 80,000 lamp posts in Paris.
- Avoid staying right on the river because the romance of it all is outweighed by the noise of constant river traffic and the intrusion of the powerful arc-lights of the bateaux mouches, which scan the riverside architecture every night.
- Rue Tiquetonne, I discovered, is named after a famous boulanger of 1399, Rogier de Quinquetonne. Where else but in Paris would a street be named after a baker? This discovery comes courtesy of the inscription below the blue street sign mounted on the corner. Many Paris streets are named after famous people and invariably the reason for their fame is briefly described on the street signage.
- If suffering from jetlag, what could be more energising than an early morning stroll in the awakening city? This was Honoré Balzac’s custom in his days of mounting debt and incorrigible gardes de commerce (debt-collectors) who would relentlessly pursue him in business hours. How else could he have his daily constitutional except to be on the street before dawn?
- Whilst incarcerated before her guillotining at Concorde, Marie Antoinette consoled herself by reading whatever material was made available to her, including The Travels of Captain Cook, which a gaoler had lent to her.
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