My Impressions

What I wrote in Paris

The Rue de l’Ouest, current d’Assas, is a busier road than I imagined but still in a ‘less frequented’ area than other bits of the area. It seems long, so I’m not sure where they were, but there are lots of flats that suggest they were easy to come by then. The gate which comes out of the gardens was locked so we couldn’t get through which was slightly displeasing but it was rather quiet compared to the middle of the gardens. The benches were quite a way from the gate but I tried to imagine Cosette and Marius sitting side by side enjoying the weather and each other’s company.

On Reflection

The Rue de l’Ouest, the current Rue d’Assas, is a busier road than I had imagined but is still what Hugo refers to as a ‘less frequented’ area than other streets in the same vicinity. It is a very long street with various styles of buildings; all mainly blocks of flats which I don’t think would have been there when Hugo was. The gate from the Luxembourg, the Porte d’Assas, was locked when we visited but we managed to get out into the street through the gate before and walk to the outside to look in through the gate to the Luxembourg. The corner of the Luxembourg gardens on the Rue de l’Ouest side is less heavily populated than the centre of the gardens and is well shaded by the bows of trees providing a perfect place for Valjean to have stayed hidden from view. There are wide expanses of grass and it evokes the feeling of a common or park in London in comparison to the symmetry and splendour of the centre of the gardens. There weren’t any benches on the Rue de l’Ouest side which was slightly disappointing but around the corner, there were several couples on benches which recalled to my memory the beautifully written scenes in the book about the first stages of Marius and Cosette’s romance. The Rue d’Assas doesn’t seem to have changed as drastically as it is still a secluded road overlooking the gardens and I think Hugo would still think it had the same atmosphere it had when he was there.

9. Sign 2
8. The View from the Rue d'Assas 2
10. The Rue de l'Ouest 3
11. The Rue de l'Ouest side
12. Couple in the Luxembourg
6. Rue de l'Ouest 2

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