The 3rd district of Paris has a Rue du Temple, a Boulevard du Temple, and a Rue Vieille du Temple all within a couple blocks from each other. There’s also Square du Temple, a covered market called the Carreau du Temple, and a Temple métro station. Hence I’m giving myself a pass for getting a bit lost on my way to the tea shop yesterday.
Luckily there’s no better place to lose your way than this neighborhood. Named for the swamp that used to cover it, Le Marais was one of the original inhabited spots in town after civilization overflowed from those two little islands on the Seine. That’s why you get a real bang for your historical buck here: while Napoleon demolished the actual temple everything’s named after, he thankfully spared a lot of the rest leaving a wormhole back in time for those willing to get themselves a bit lost. Even though I’ve wormed dozens of times, yesterday I still stumbled onto new streets, parks, and courtyards I never knew existed.
As usual, each time I found one of these I was taken aback by how the Parisians around them were going about daily business like it’s no big thing. I guess that feeling’s still exaggerated by my newness to it all, because I always get the urge to seize nearby pedestrians and ask “how are you not gawking at this thing constantly?” That probably wouldn’t be a good idea seeing as it’s impolite. Plus I have no idea how to say gawking in French.