A Travellerspoint blog

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Our first crisis . . . and some rest

May 13, 2019 — Day 4 (Monday) There has to be a crisis on every trip and we got ours over today. We also walked too much yesterday and didn't drink enough water. Dumb thing for a couple from California to do . . .

Ave. des Gobelins at rue de la Reine Blanche

Ave. des Gobelins at rue de la Reine Blanche

Up much of the night with leg cramps. Drank bottles of water and got very little sleep. I think we overdid it on the walking yesterday. Started the day discovering Ed’s flash drive with all our financial information and his passwords is missing. We tore the apartment apart and couldn’t find it so we spent the morning changing all his passwords. There are better ways to spend a morning. (Addendum: We found the flash drive at home in his trouser pocket. He didn't pack those trousers.)

That done, we walked up to Le Languedoc for lunch and got their daily special. We both chose the chicken and mine was huge but very good; Ed’s also large but not as good. Wine was included which was nice. A single man sat next to us and engaged us in conversation. His English was excellent but he didn’t know when to stop. He rambled on until we finally had to beg a prior appointment to leave. He wanted to meet us later in the week so we said we might see him. Probably not . . . Le Languedoc Bistro web site

We walked to the local alimentation and it was closed so we continued to Franprix on rue Mouffetard to get supplies. After we put those away, we walked up to the hardware and bought a small waste can for the bathroom. No shower mat yet . . . This apartment had no waste can in the bathroom and the shower mat was covered with mold. I hosed off as much mold as I could but it was still most unpleasant so I dried it and rolled it up for storage. We did email the owner about this. She’s obviously paying her cleaning crew too much for what they do.

Gobelins Manufacture

Gobelins Manufacture



We checked maps and times and finally walked up to the Gobelins Tapestry Manufacture to see if there was more information on their door than on their web site. They were closed on Monday so no people to ask either. We really want a tour and they are only by reservation except the web site isn't very clear on how they are handled. There wasn’t any help at the closed factory so we walked back to our apartment and prepared our French picnic. Bread is so good here! Gobelins Tapestry Manufacture web site

Hopefully we’ll sleep better tonight.

Gobelins Manufacture

Gobelins Manufacture


Les Gobelins Metro Entrance

Les Gobelins Metro Entrance

Posted by Beausoleil 09:18 Archived in France Tagged paris france Comments (7)

Institut du Monde Arabe and Gardens

Another Paris Walk, the Institut du Monde Arabe, the Jardin Tino Rossi along the Seine and the Jardin des Plantes . . . a perfect Paris day.

Market at Maubert-Mutualité Metro stop

Market at Maubert-Mutualité Metro stop


May 14, 2019 — Day 5 (Tuesday)

Got real sleep last night. What a relief! Woke ready to face the world. We’re back to cereal for breakfast and checked email. I noticed missing paintings on the apartment walls (only nails in the wall) and emailed Joyce, our landlady, about it. She asked me to describe the missing paintings! How do you describe something that isn’t there? I checked the rental web site and discovered three wood carvings in the living room and a wall hanging in the bedroom were missing. I suggested she look at the web site because the pictures weren’t good enough for me to describe them, but she should remember them since they are hers.

Eglise Saint-Nicolas du Chardonnet

Eglise Saint-Nicolas du Chardonnet


We walked to Gobelins looking for more tour information and again they weren’t open so we decided to do one of our Paris Walks. We hopped the #7 Metro at Les Gobelins and changed to #10 at Jussieu exiting at Maubert-Mutualité where our Paris Walk began. There was a market at the Metro stop so I got market photos. I love French markets! We then walked down blvd. Saint-Germain as directed on our Paris Walk until a church caught our eye so we detoured a block to Eglise Saint-Nicolas du Chardonnet and explored the beautiful old church with a pretty little square beside it. The church is a little unusual in that since 1977, after expelling the parish priest and his assistants, the church has been used by the traditionalist Society of St. Pius X and remains in the Society's hands. If you long for the good old days, this is where you will find them.

Eglise Saint-Nicolas du Chardonnet

Eglise Saint-Nicolas du Chardonnet

Eglise Saint-Nicolas du Chardonnet

Eglise Saint-Nicolas du Chardonnet

Café St. Victor on rue St. Victor

Café St. Victor on rue St. Victor

Breakfast in America - a very strange diner in central Paris

Breakfast in America - a very strange diner in central Paris

Le Relais Fac for a quick and friendly lunch

Le Relais Fac for a quick and friendly lunch

As we explored our little detour, we couldn't help but notice a restaurant called Breakfast in America. We couldn't figure out why anyone in Paris with all those lovely croissants would want an American breakfast, but there were people inside. Back on track we found the Institut du Monde Arabe and decided lunch would be a good idea before we entered. Walked back to Le Relais Fac and were seated. I got gigot d’agneau and Ed got the pintade (guinea hen) on special that we washed down with a nice Bordeaux. We both had the chocolate mousse for dessert. It seems to be mostly a student café and was very friendly. [Le Relais Fac Brasserie at 13 Boulevard Saint-Germain, 75005 Paris; tel: +33 (0)1 7717-8434]

*****

Institut du Monde Arabe

Institut du Monde Arabe


Thus fortified we continued to the Institut du Monde Arabe and entered. A pleasant young lady gave us information and we bought museum tickets and took one of about 8 elevators to the seventh floor. You enter the museum on floor seven and work your way down to the fourth floor. There was a special exhibit, "A la Plume au Pinceau au Crayon, dessins du Monde Arabe" in the museum and it was fascinating. After going through that and the permanent exhibit, we took the elevator up to the roof for fabulous views over Paris. They have a restaurant on the roof so Ed got a hot chocolate and I got the famous mint tea. On a cool, windy day, hot mint tea was perfect. The view included a spectacular setting of Notre Dame Cathedral and you could see the temporary white canvas roof they had set up on it. Click here for the Institut du Monde Arabe web site

Institut du Monde Arabe rooftop

Institut du Monde Arabe rooftop

Notre Dame from the roof of the Institut du Monde Arabe

Notre Dame from the roof of the Institut du Monde Arabe

View from the roof of the Institut du Monde Arabe

View from the roof of the Institut du Monde Arabe

Jardin Tino Rossi along the Seine River

Jardin Tino Rossi along the Seine River

Back to street level, we crossed Quai Saint-Bernard and entered Jardin Tino Rossi where you can walk along the Seine enjoying the river and the wonderful sculpture garden. The garden stretches along the Seine from the Institut du Monde Arabe to the Jardin des Plantes. Work by the biggest names in contemporary sculpture is displayed in a free open-air sculpture museum. You'll see sculptures by Brancusi, César, Ipoustéguy, Rougemont, Zadkine, Schoffer, Stahly and many others. There are trees and benches. We walked through taking pictures of sculptures and flowers, then exited that garden at the Jardin des Plantes and fought our way across a very busy Quai Saint-Bernard to Place Valhubert to enter the Jardin des Plantes with many happy Parisians enjoying a gorgeous day.

Jardin Tino Rossi in Paris

Jardin Tino Rossi in Paris

Jardin Tino Rossi in Paris

Jardin Tino Rossi in Paris

Jardin Tino Rossi in Paris

Jardin Tino Rossi in Paris

Jardin Tino Rossi in Paris

Jardin Tino Rossi in Paris

Jardin Tino Rossi in Paris

Jardin Tino Rossi in Paris

Jardin Tino Rossi in Paris

Jardin Tino Rossi in Paris

Jardin Tino Rossi in Paris

Jardin Tino Rossi in Paris

Jardin des Plantes

Jardin des Plantes

The Jardin des Plantes is the main botanical garden in France. It started life as the Royal Garden of Medicinal Plants in the 17th century. The grounds of the Jardin des Plantes contain four buildings that are officially considered museums and are labelled musée de France, and the French Museum of Natural History calls them galeries. They are the Gallery of Evolution, the Gallery of Mineralogy and a Library, the Gallery of Paleontology and Comparative Anatomy and the Gallery of Botany and Geology. We managed to visit the Gallery of Paleontology and the Gallery of Evolution during our visit this trip. In addition to the gardens and the galleries, there is also a small zoo, the ménagerie du Jardin des plantes, founded in 1795 by Bernardin de Saint-Pierre from animals of the ménagerie royale de Versailles. The gardens are free but there are charges for the galleries and the little zoo which is very popular with Paris children . . . at least it certainly was the several times we've been there. We claimed a bench near the Galerie de Minerologie to rest our weary feet.

Jardin des Plantes

Jardin des Plantes

Jardin des Plantes - Poppies

Jardin des Plantes - Poppies

Jardin des Plantes - Gallery of Botany and Geology

Jardin des Plantes - Gallery of Botany and Geology

Grande Mosquée de Paris

Grande Mosquée de Paris


After we recovered, we headed out of the garden past the Grande Mosquée de Paris to the Censier-Daubenton Metro stop where we cut across to our favorite boulanger for our demi-blondie du jour. We also stopped at the local pharmacy for a bottle of hydrogen peroxide and didn’t check the label. When we got home, we discovered it was not the medicinal 10% vol. but 30% vol. to bleach one’s hair. That will do us no good so perhaps we can exchange it tomorrow.

*****

Checked my email and Joyce, our landlady, said her manager “thought” a previous renter had removed the art objects from the walls and put them in a drawer someplace. Would I check all the drawers?! Well, yes . . . was this supposed to be a vacation? I went through all her very messy drawers and in the top drawer in the cabinet under the television I found the bedroom wall hanging but several beads were caught under the drawer liner and I wasn’t going to break it by pulling it out. I did fold everything else in the drawer including a rather large round plastic tablecloth someone had balled up and stuffed into the drawer. After I folded everything in the drawer, suddenly there was lots of room in it.

The search continued . . . I finally found the wooden carvings in a large basket in the bedroom closet. I left them there because we didn’t want to try to hang them. The closet door hasn’t been closing completely and we discovered a pile of clothes hangers on the floor that kept catching the door. We put them back up on the rod and magically the door closed. I emailed Joyce and told her where the things were and then emailed her derelict agent with the same information and also asked about clean sheets each week. Should be interesting.

Had a French picnic and planned for a trip to Saint-Germain-en-Laye sometime soon.

Posted by Beausoleil 14:07 Archived in France Tagged gardens paris france institut_du_monde_arabe jardin_des_plantes jardin_tino_rossi Comments (5)

The Natural History Museum

Back to the Jardin des Plantes to visit the Natural History Museum and an adventure exchanging a bottle of peroxide.

Filming in the Jardin des Plantes

Filming in the Jardin des Plantes


May 15, 2019 — Day 6 (Wednesday)

Ed put a laundry in early and set it for only an hour, short for a French laundry. We managed to get their rickety drying rack upright and hung the clothes . . . a real challenge.

We took the bottle of 30 vol. hydrogen peroxide back to the pharmacy and the gentleman in charge cheerfully agreed to exchange it even without the receipt. The only catch was they didn’t have the 10 vol. we wanted so we needed to return at four o’clock when deliveries arrived. No problem!

Jardin des Plantes

Jardin des Plantes

Then we set off for the Jardin des Plantes to find the Natural History Museum. We passed all the museums on the way and finally came to the Galerie d’Anatomie Comparée et de Paléontologie-Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle at the park entrance. We paused on the way to watch a tv interview being filmed in the garden. We paid and entered the museum that was full of skeletons including all kinds of dinosaurs and many other birds, fish and mammals including many that are now extinct. There are over 1,000 animal skeletons packed wall to wall in the massive gallery. The remains of each beast are faced in the same direction creating the illusion of a skeleton stampede as visitors enter the space. There were also preserved brains and body parts but those weren’t as exciting. The whole place was absolutely fascinating. The next floor contains the paleontology section which is a time line of the history of life on earth. Above that on the mezzanine are invertebrates and plant fossils. There are also wall murals of the Lascaux cave paintings on the mezzanine level that can be seen from most of the building. Click here for the Natural History Museum web site

Natural History Museum in the Jardin des Plantes, Paris

Natural History Museum in the Jardin des Plantes, Paris

Natural History Museum, Paris

Natural History Museum, Paris

Parade of the skeletons, Natural History Museum, Paris

Parade of the skeletons, Natural History Museum, Paris

Natural History Museum, Paris

Natural History Museum, Paris

Saber-tooth tiger in the Natural History Museum, Paris

Saber-tooth tiger in the Natural History Museum, Paris

Natural History Museum, Paris

Natural History Museum, Paris

Murals copied from Lascaux Cave at the Natural History Museum, Paris

Murals copied from Lascaux Cave at the Natural History Museum, Paris

Natural History Museum, Paris

Natural History Museum, Paris

Natural History Museum, Paris

Natural History Museum, Paris

Natural History Museum, Paris

Natural History Museum, Paris

Iris et de Plantes Vivaces in the Jardin des Plantes, Paris

Iris et de Plantes Vivaces in the Jardin des Plantes, Paris


We exited looking for a restaurant and ended up walking all the way back to Place Saint-Medard where we got confit de canard at Cave Bourgogne. We’re turning into regulars and I discovered they have fondant au chocolate. Whee!

Walked home and changed my shoes and then walked to Monoprix to get a French electric toothbrush since my American one refuses to recharge here. Took our new toothbrush home and plugged it in. Success. I took a short nap and we headed back to the pharmacy to get our exchange. The man from this morning wasn’t there and we couldn’t explain what had happened to two young clerks or more likely, they didn't believe us. As the young sales clerk had me typing our explanation into her Google Translate, the man from this morning arrived. Saved! We soon had the correct hydrogen peroxide and a five euro refund and were all happy.

We walked on to the marvelous Androuet cheese shop on rue Mouffetard and got a Compte, this time more aged than the last one. The young man who works there is a cheese expert and very nice. Then we visited the vegetable and fruit stand and bought a huge comice pear, and finally to the boulanger for our demi-baguette. Done shopping, we walked home and had another French picnic to end our day. Living this close to the rue Mouffetard market is definitely a good thing.

Posted by Beausoleil 13:47 Archived in France Tagged museums paris france shopping cheese Comments (4)

The Musée d'Orsay and the Rodin Museum

Discovered you can get a twin ticket for the Orsay and Rodin and it's an easy walk so we tried it. Great idea. There have been a few changes in both although you can now take pictures in the Orsay. They were forbidden for a few years.

Musée d'Orsay - Paris

Musée d'Orsay - Paris

May 16, 2019 — Day 7 (Thursday)

We planned to take the #83 bus to the Musée d’Orsay. We got on the first #83 bus and validated our tickets only to be told that particular bus ended at Gare Montparnasse. We got off wondering what to do and a kindly French lady offered to explain to the next driver. He arrived; she explained and we had no trouble at all. We got off at the Solferino-Bellechasse stop and quickly walked to the Musée d’Orsay. There was no line at all. We walked right in, zipped through a very cheerful security check and bought twin tickets to both the Orsay and the Rodin Museums.

Main Hallway at the Musée d'Orsay

Main Hallway at the Musée d'Orsay

We entered and found ourselves lost. They’ve moved things around a lot. We climbed and escalated to the top floor to beat the crowds and see the Impressionists with as little confusion as possible. On the way we noticed they modernized their formerly gorgeous restaurant . . . very modern and utilitarian now, not nearly as pretty. We got to see a lot, but tours and school groups soon arrived and it was life as usual with overwhelming crowds. We found some Millet downstairs and my beloved Rosa Bonheur, but never did find Millet’s “The Angelus.” Next time . . . Click here for the Musée d'Orsay web site

Statue of Liberty at the Musée d'Orsay

Statue of Liberty at the Musée d'Orsay

The renovated restaurant in the Musée d'Orsay

The renovated restaurant in the Musée d'Orsay

Musée d'Orsay - view through the clock to Sacre Coeur

Musée d'Orsay - view through the clock to Sacre Coeur

Basilique Sacre Coeur seen from the balcony at the Musée d'Orsay

Basilique Sacre Coeur seen from the balcony at the Musée d'Orsay

Musée d'Orsay - Paintings by Renoir and Cezanne

Musée d'Orsay - Paintings by Renoir and Cezanne

Musée d'Orsay

Musée d'Orsay

Musée d'Orsay - Claude Monet "La Gare Saint-Lazare"

Musée d'Orsay - Claude Monet "La Gare Saint-Lazare"

Musée d'Orsay - a class

Musée d'Orsay - a class

Musée d'Orsay - Claude Monet "Haystacks, End of Summer"

Musée d'Orsay - Claude Monet "Haystacks, End of Summer"

Vincent Van Gogh, "The Church in Auvers-sur-Oise"

Vincent Van Gogh, "The Church in Auvers-sur-Oise"

Musée d'Orsay

Musée d'Orsay

François Pompon "Ours Blanc" or "Polar Bear"

François Pompon "Ours Blanc" or "Polar Bear"

At noon we walked to Café de l’Empire and got the last two seats. The restaurant was packed, had the same 10.90 euro menu from five years ago and the same cheery waitress. Had a great lunch . . . confit de canard and nougat ice cream with dark fudge sauce. While the men paid the bills, the lady next to me started a chat. Her English was on a par with my French but it was fun and she told me about a couple exhibits we might like. [Cafe de l'Empire is at 17 Rue du Bac, 75007 and has a Facebook Page]

The Thinker in the garden at the Rodin Museum in Paris

The Thinker in the garden at the Rodin Museum in Paris

We walked to the Rodin and since we already had our tickets, we went right in. Took a picture of the Thinker and then went into the beautiful Hôtel Biron to see the collection. Camille Claudel has pretty much disappeared. I think she has her own museum now so perhaps her works have been moved there. A fun discovery was that Rodin painted. He was good, loose, but good. Went through the house and headed for the garden where we stopped for hot tea on a chilly day. In the garden we met a lone American woman who was upset the sculptures weren’t identified so we told her what she was looking at and then sent her over to the section where they had information. Camille Claudel was missing from the garden too. Click here for the Rodin Museum web site

Oil Paintings by Rodin

Oil Paintings by Rodin

Musée Rodin

Musée Rodin

Sculptures in the Rodin Museum

Sculptures in the Rodin Museum

Auguste Rodin - "The Defense or the Call to Arms"

Auguste Rodin - "The Defense or the Call to Arms"

Auguste Rodin - "Balzac"

Auguste Rodin - "Balzac"

Flowers in the Rodin Museum Gardens

Flowers in the Rodin Museum Gardens

Tea Room in the Rodin Museum Gardens

Tea Room in the Rodin Museum Gardens

Hôtel Biron, the Musée Rodin in Paris

Hôtel Biron, the Musée Rodin in Paris

Auguste Rodin - "The Burghers of Calais"

Auguste Rodin - "The Burghers of Calais"

Auguste Rodin - "The Gates of Hell"<br />We did not go through the gates!

Auguste Rodin - "The Gates of Hell"
We did not go through the gates!

Invalides and the Eiffel Tower from the Rodin Museum Gardens

Invalides and the Eiffel Tower from the Rodin Museum Gardens

Auguste Rodin - "The Thinker" as we were leaving

Auguste Rodin - "The Thinker" as we were leaving


Walked back to Raspail to get our #83 bus home We stopped at a different boulanger and grocer on the way home. Long day, but fun.

Posted by Beausoleil 15:55 Archived in France Tagged art museums paris france sculpture d'orsay rodin impressionists Comments (6)

A walk on boulevard Haussman and the Tuileries Gardens

After a failed attempt to visit the Garnier Opera, we walked down boulevard Haussman, visited a couple covered galeries and had a fantastic lunch before visiting the gardens of the Palais Royal and then the Tuileries Gardens.

Palais Garnier - Paris

Palais Garnier - Paris

May 17, 2019 — Day 8 (Friday)

The Musée d’Orsay web site said our Orsay tickets were good for eight days tor a free non-guided visit to the Garnier Opera so this morning we took Metro #7 to Opera and wandered around until we found the well-hidden entrance. When we presented our Orsay tickets for free entry, they tried to charge us 16 euros. We questioned it and they said it was not free but a four euro discount so we decided not to visit the Opera. It’s supposed to be beautiful but we didn’t feel like validating false advertising. If we want to see it, it will be there for a while and it would be more fun to attend an opera.

Colorful dome in the Passage des Princes

Colorful dome in the Passage des Princes

Ed wanted to walk down blvd. Haussman so we walked over and started down the boulevard. Stopped in the Boutique Comtesse du Barry at 13 blvd. Haussman to buy some souvenirs. We came to the Passage des Princes, a galerie, and went in to photograph a gorgeous dome then continued on to the Galerie des Variétés that connects to the Passage des Panoramas with restaurants and philatalists shops. We took pictures and continued on what had become blvd. Montmartre. Looked at menus along the way but nothing appealed. Then I looked down a side street and saw a sign for Chartier and remembered our landlady had recommended it so we walked over and checked their menu which looked good.

Passage des Panoramas

Passage des Panoramas

8dc1c490-a043-11e9-9f15-c5c82fee0827.jpg

Passage des Panoramas photographing an angel wolf

Passage des Panoramas photographing an angel wolf

*****

Bouillon Chartier or Chartier - a very good and fun restaurant in Paris

Bouillon Chartier or Chartier - a very good and fun restaurant in Paris

The restaurant was Le Bouillon Chartier and is sort of a communal and first-come first-served Paris tradition. You share tables, bread and water and order your own meal and wine. We were seated at the end of a table for eight beside a son taking his father out to lunch. Ed got the confit de canard and I got the eleven euro special of museau de porc vinaigrette, colin and moelleux de chocolat. Ed got red wine and I got white to go with my fish. Both meals were excellent; the place was packed; service was outstanding and the company fun. We had a great time . . . a neat Paris experience. [Le Bouillon Chartier, 7 rue du Faubourg Montmartre, 75009 Paris; +33 (0)1 4770-8629] Click here for the Bouillon Chartier Restaurant web site

Bouillon Chartier or Chartier - a very good and fun restaurant in Paris

Bouillon Chartier or Chartier - a very good and fun restaurant in Paris



Jardin du Palais Royal

Jardin du Palais Royal

After lunch we continued on to Galerie Vivienne where they were painting and it looked completely different from our last visit in 2012. We walked on to the Jardin du Palais Royal and found a double chair by the fountain and relaxed as the sun tried to come out. As it got warmer, we walked on through the Buren Columns, past the goofy Palais Royal-Musée du Louvre Metro station to the Tuileries. We were horrified to discover the area between the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel and the gardens is now full of touts selling little Eiffel Towers and other tourist junk. It used to be a nice place to get photos of the Obelisk, Arc de Triomphe and Grand Arche de la Defense lined up. No more; it’s a busy, trashy mess where you watch your wallet and are harassed by vendors. Fortunately they haven’t invaded the gardens that are as lovely as ever. We found a bench and watched people and ducks until we saw storm clouds approaching. We walked back to the Metro going around the side to miss the sales force. It worked and we were soon on a very crowded #7 Metro to home.

Jardin du Palais Royal - Fountain

Jardin du Palais Royal - Fountain

Les Deux Plateaux, the Buren Columns at the Palais-Royal in Paris

Les Deux Plateaux, the Buren Columns at the Palais-Royal in Paris

Jardin du Palais Royal - photo shoot at the Daniel Buren Columns

Jardin du Palais Royal - photo shoot at the Daniel Buren Columns

Palais Royal-Musée du Louvre Metro station

Palais Royal-Musée du Louvre Metro station

The Pyramide du Louvre and the Louvre

The Pyramide du Louvre and the Louvre

Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel at the Louvre

Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel at the Louvre

Arc de Triomphe and the Obelisk de Louxor from the Tuileries

Arc de Triomphe and the Obelisk de Louxor from the Tuileries

Patrolling the Tuileries Gardens

Patrolling the Tuileries Gardens

Saines, our boulangerie for the month

Saines, our boulangerie for the month


Stopped at the apartment to get our grocery bag and walked down to Franprix to get cereal, orange juice, pears and cookies, then over to “our” boulangerie for bread. They recognized us. Funny . . . we are regulars.

Cave La Bourgogne Brasserie

Cave La Bourgogne Brasserie



Had a pleasant French picnic and are still waiting for the rain.

Posted by Beausoleil 16:07 Archived in France Tagged gardens paris france galeries tuileries palais_royal Comments (3)

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