Thursday, November 8, 2012

Les Bouquinistes | Paris Travel

A street in le Marais:  "Street of the Cherry Orchard."

Our Silver Paris

Welcome to my Paris travel journal,
where I share our experiences of our special journey to Paris.
Please use these posts as a guide for your own travels
to this amazing and wonderful city!
Or simply read, and dream...

The goal for our Thursday afternoon was simple:  one nice, long boat tour of the Seine.  An hour to rest our backs and knees, to feel the breeze on our faces, to see the sights of Paris from a new and unique vantage point.  But the boat tour is another post, of course, for we came upon les bouquinistes along the way.

We left our appartement, and I snapped a quick picture of the building on one of the nearby street corners.  Oh, the architecture!

On our way down to the Seine and les vedettes du Pont Neuf (our chosen boat tour company), we passed by les bouquinistes.  Several stands were open this afternoon, and I couldn't resist taking a few at-the-hip pictures.

These book vendors are a fixture in Paris, and the waiting list for one of their spots is eight years.  We didn't take too much time to browse; we wanted to get to the tour boat at a certain time.  But an afternoon stroll along the Right Bank, shopping at les bouquinistes, would make for a wonderful afternoon.  See Rick Steves' site for detailed information about these vendors, who have been an institution along the Seine since the 16th century.

As part of this "tour," I'm sharing a non-related image below.  Between some of the bookstands, this young man below lounged against the stone wall, looking out over the Seine River.  By that point in the week, I was tired of seeing the low-riding pants of many young Frenchmen.  But this one took the cake, so to speak.  Here's the image; no more need be said.  Oh--check out the shoes, too!

I love looking through old books!  The variety of items for sale was pretty astounding, and each bouquiniste was selling different items.

If Fernando gives me a choice, I'll spend an afternoon browsing along the Seine on our next visit.  :)

  • Nearest Métro station:  Sully Morland (line 7) if you start at the easternmost side of Ile St. Louis and walk west along the Rive Droite; or, Pont Neu (also line 7) if you start at the westernmost side of Ile St. Louis and walk east.
  • Cost:  free
  • What to look for:  Bookstand after bookstand!  Les bouquinistes sell old books in French and English (and probably other languages, too!); newspapers; prints, posters, and other art, etc.  You'll find some souvenirs for sale as well.  Enjoy beautiful views of the Seine River, and have fun people-watching, both the (typically) fashionably dressed Parisian ladies, and the "modern" styles of the young men.  ;)
  • Combine with:  Window shopping along rue pont Louis Philippe, a visit to the cathédrale de Notre Dame, or a Seine River boat tour (the boats of Vedettes du pont Neuf depart at pont Neuf), which is what we did.

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1 comment:

  1. What an interesting area. I would get tired too of seeing pants like that all the time. :)