Marche aux Fleurs, Paris.

The celebrated Parisian Flower Market, Marche aux Fleurs Reine Elizabeth II, is located a few steps away from Notre Dame. We walked to the cathedral via Rue Saint Jacques, it takes less than 20 minutes; then turn your back to the cathedral and walk a few steps towards the tall chapel. The market is in between the two lovely landmarks, and there are numerous signs pointing the way. It was opened more than two hundred years ago, and it is still flourishing. In 2014, it obtained the honorary name Reine Elizabeth II, to mark the occasion of the British Queen’s visit for the 70th anniversary of the Allies landing in France. It is a pleasant place to visit, to walk among the many stalls, to look at the souvenirs, buy whatever one may need for a garden or house plant, or some handmade soap in lots of colors and fragrances which is traditionally sold there. The main attraction of course are the flowers which are displayed in a multitude of bouquets, flower pots and amazing arrangements. It is a veritable riot of colors, an amazing conglomeration of varieties, aromas, hues. We admired a tiny grove of lemon trees, spent some time trying to count all the colors of the rainbow in fantastic combinations which are found in the many rows of hortensia or hydrangea. Every visitor, every customer stops there to look at the pretty bunches of those blossoms. There is a separate pavilion called The Orchid House, where there seem to be thousands of those tender blooms in all shapes, sizes and colors. In fact, the flower market is maybe the one place where one can enjoy the view of all the existing colors in one place. There are plenty of cacti, from the large ones to the tiny plants not bigger than a walnut peeking at customers from unexpected corners. If you wish to find any exotic flowers, or if you are in doubt as to what kind of gift you should bring for an occasion, you are sure to find what you need here. It is also a wonderful place to visit, in the very center of this ever bustling city. It is a veritable oasis of calm and beauty.

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