July 2, 2016 (Thursday) – One of my personal interests in Paris was to explore the covered shopping galeries, or passages couverts, of Paris. Because we had a lot of other things planned for our one week trip, I ended up seeing only one of these famed galeries. If I ever go back, then exploring more of these galeries would definitely be on my list.
Funny enough. I first learned about these famed covered shopping galleries through a little-known Japanese anime called Croisée in a Foreign Labyrinth, or Ikoku Meiro no Croisée [異国迷路のクロワーゼ プロモーション]. (Sorry. I couldn’t find an English trailer)
It’s about a young Japanese girl who travels to Paris with a French merchant, who brought the girl home after travelling to Japan to purchase goods for his store in the fictional Galerie Du Roy. As with many anime, there is a fantastic attention to detail to the setting. The covered galleries are drawn with great care and precision.
So there was no Galerie Du Roy to explore, but I managed to fit the Galerie Vivienne on our walking itinerary for our last full day in Paris. It was about 10 minute walk from the L’Escargot Montorgueil, where we had lunch.
I don’t think the Galerie Vivienne is one of the largest galeries in the city, but its size is definitely charming and quaint enough to give me an introduction to this unique Parisian shopping environment.
The summer sun generously poured in through the glass roofs above. The natural sunlight filled the space with a cozy glow all around. The exquisite mosaic tiles on the ground and the carefully carved arches were all softly lit up.
It was very warm on this hot summer day within the galerie. There was definitely no air conditioning in this space.
There were many unique boutiques within the galerie. There were souvenir shops, clothing retailers and a bookstore. Of course, this wouldn’t be Paris without a cafe or bistro for folks to sip, talk and people-watch.
It was a very short visit to the Galerie Vivienne because there were other things I still wanted to see on our last full day in Paris. However, there are plenty of other glass-roofed shopping galleries to explore, if we ever return to Paris.