My Travel Blog

Exploring Paris & Finding A Flea Market Masterpiece

Welcome to Paris, the city of lights.  Around every corner there’s something new and exciting to behold.  Streets filled with history, culture and beauty.  Swaddled in the delectable smells of incredible food and wine. It’s a city that beckons the weary traveler to enjoy every morsel.  It’s a place where the beautiful parks, museums and boulevards literally beg to be explored.

“The best Fallafel in Paris.”

“Enjoying one of the many parks in Paris.”

“Another park.”

“Looking down the Champs-Elysees.”

As the Nazis were being driven out of Paris, Hitler gave instructions to set bombs throughout the city and destroy it.  Fortunately Gen. Dietrich von Choltitz loved Paris so much he disobeyed the Fuehrer’s orders and left the city intact. He would ultimately pay with his life for his deeds.

“Some of the Paris architecture that was saved.”

We found the perfect mooring on the left bank just a few hundred yards down stream from the Eifel Tower.  The weekend was upon us so Wilco drove home and would not return until Monday night.  The following day we decided to explore the famous Paris flea market.  It’s officially called Les Puces de Saint-Ouen, but everyone just calls it Les Puces (The Fleas).  The market dates back to 1885 when it was officially opened, and has over 2,500 stalls.  It’s not in the best part of town.  Most would call it the Hood, but we felt perfectly safe even though the travel books tell you to use a money belt and dress down.

When you first get off the metro you’ll find stall after stall of sweats, hoodies, caps and t-shirts.  Unless you’re into that kind of thing keep trekking.  The place doesn’t get really good until you come to the art and antique shops.  We spent hours roaming the back alleys and eventually Lisa found a painting we loved.  It was not just any painting, but a painting that we’re convinced was done by a turn of the century impressionist master.  We only paid 150 euro for it, though I’m sure it’s worth a few hundred thousand, well at least to us it is.

“Taken from our mooring in Paris.”

“Lisa finds our flea market masterpiece.”

The next day we decided to visit some museums.  We started with our favorite the D’Orsay.  Unfortunately the staff was on strike so it was closed.  Our next stop was the Pompidou.  The building was magnificent, but I have to say the collection wasn’t my taste.  We ran through the museum, but before we could leave Lisa had to browse the bookstore.  I went outside to kill time and take in the view.  After fifteen minutes Lisa waved to me that I should come back in.  I had no idea what she wanted, but like every dutiful husband I followed her instructions.  As I approached she stretched out her arm with phone in hand and said, “Here, it’s the police, and they want to talk to you.”

“The Centre Georges Pompidou.”

“They should call this piece ‘Old Men’”

“A view from our bedroom window.”

 

-Tom Miller
Author of “The Wave” – 
a Chuck Palmer Adventure novel

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About the Author:

Tom Miller graduated from the University of Southern California with a Bachelor of Science in Geology. He is a consummate adventurer with over 1,000 dives as a recreational scuba diver, and an avid sailor who has traveled 65,000 miles throughout the Pacific including the Hawaiian Islands. Miller has also cruised the canals of Europe on his canal barge and given numerous lectures on cruising the canals of Europe, as well as sailing in the South Pacific. Piloting is also an interest of Miller's, and He has completed over 1,000 hours flying everything from small Cessnas to Lear jets.