July 25, 2013

The Île Saint-Louis: "The Best of Paris on One Small Island"

That's the way my dear departed pal Hugh Yarrington described the Île Saint-Louis, where he frequently rented an apartment during the years he lived and worked in Amsterdam. His description of this small, quiet haven -- a retreat from hustle and bustle of the rest of Paris -- convinced me to follow his lead when we decided to kick off our "Summer in Europe" with a week in the "City of Lights."

Now, as that week comes to an end, I'm already wondering when I might be able to do this again.

Today, I'll share a few pictures of our apartment. Tomorrow, we'll take a walk around this charming neighborhood. Most of my earlier visits to Pinaris were 20 to 25 years ago when I would arrive, clutching a copy of Frommer's Europe on $25 a Day, which I would use to find a tiny hotel room, often on Rue Hugo in St-Germain-des-Pres. This was a dramatically different experience.

The living room, with a view to the dining room beyond:


I'd begin each morning's meditation by the dining room window. Here's the view from there:

Here's my meditation chair:

As I'd wrap up my Parisian "Joy of Quiet" hours, I'd see the dawn breaking over the Seine:

But even at 4 to 5 a.m., it was not quiet.The road across the river on the Right Bank has heavy and noisy traffic 24/7.

Here's another vie w of our spacious, light-filled digs:

Across the bridge, on the other side of the Seine, you can (almost) see Paris's Right Bank:

Here's the sunny kitchen. The washer and dryer, although handy, took forever!

Here's the hallway from the living room to the two bedrooms at the far end. There were two bathrooms, but mine didn't include a toilet . . . which took some getting used to. Fortunately, the "lavatory" was just down the hall.

Who cares if you have to walk down the hall to visit the toilet when you have a bedroom with giant doors opening up onto the Seine? The beds in both rooms were huge, and nearly filled the space. Luckily, there was plenty of closet space.

Please join me tomorrow for a stroll around the Île Saint-Louis.

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