Hugh and I would make TERRIBLE pirates. He’s going to get all upset and stomp-y when he reads that first sentence but it’s true. I could not for the life of me work out where I was on an old-timey map, let alone navigate myself to a giant X. As for Hugh, he’s much too large to conduct the agile work required on a Pirate ship, and would alienate himself by ordering a beer or whiskey while all the other Pirates ordered a rum. Plus he would point-blank refuse to have his ear pierced, although I think he could be convinced to grow a pony-tail or man-bun….
For our visit to the flea markets we desperately needed a captain. With a total of fifteen markets making up the ‘Flea Markets’ it was going to be mission impossible to locate the treasure we were after. Insert Captain Raphael, of Discover Walks Paris fame. Walking tours are right up my alley, I am a natural wanderer having developed a love of ‘exploring on foot’ when I moved to Melbourne with my two buddies (I had no car, so it was kind of the only way to explore).Together my two friends and I would tear up the streets (by walking quickly) and I got a far better feel of the city and improved my pedestrian skills. Couple my love of walking with an awkward personal flaw – I am always the last person to locate a building or animal when someone points and yells “WOW LOOK AT THAT OVER THERE” and it is apparent that walking tours are for me. It gives me time to stop and look and wander without getting whiplash from trying to see what everyone else saw out the back of a bus and then complaining that I “never see anyyythiiiinnnnggg”.
If you’ve read my Morocco posts and Bruges post you’ll understand that I get giddy for homewares. Homewares, and fashion, so yah, I’m a gal. As I strolled around, lingering behind Raphael and Hugh I mentally started wrapping and packing items into a large shipping container to send back to Australia once this #rugbylife is over. Having Raphael to guide us through was excellent. His three favourite stores were also our three favourites and he talked us through the history of the markets and shared his enthusiasm for Gypsy Jazz (famous Gypsy jazz restaurants are located in the market). For those wanting to embrace a bit of Gypsy into their lives, click here!!! Actually I demand that you have the song playing while you read through the rest of this post.. I have just decided that it shall be the soundtrack of all my writing from now on.. so there.. enjoy it.
One of Raphael’s favourite was the shop selling original copies and prints of old advertisements (e.g. Moulin Rouge) and magazines and newspapers. I will be back to this shop fo’ sho’
Our next stop was the tasteful taxidermy shop, and no I’m not being sarcastic or ironic. It was incredible! Giraffes and Zebras lept from walls and bright neon blue butterflies were lined up in rows encased in a glass coffee table. No photos were allowed inside so you’re going to have to go and look for yourself!
And the fashion, from vintage Chanel hand bags, Jimmy Choo shoes and vintage Louis Vuitton luggage I was a crazed lady squealing around in circles…
Raphael lead us to a homewares vintage warehouse. Hugh and I were very taken with the large letters outside the shop which Raphael explained were taken from a historic hotel just off the Champs-Élysées which was converted to an office building. You can own a freakin’ piece of Paris history people!!!
Thanks to Raphael the two hours we strolled through the marches were full of incredible treasures, and had we been real pirates we would have been very pleased with ourselves. There was nothing ‘junky’ nothing ‘garage sale’ about our experience. I know what you’re thinking TRUST PARIS to put on a show, even at the second hand markets. And you’re right, this sassy fabulous city has done it again….
To organise a walking tour head to: www.discoverwalks.com