Sunday, July 29, 2012

Le Grand Tour: Paris Day 4

We decided to begin Wednesday with a visit to St. Chapelle. We had gotten the Paris Museum Pass, which I highly recommend as it not only can save money, but also valuable time since you can skip lines at many museums and monuments. However, the security line at St. Chapelle cannot be skipped as it is located within the Palais de Justice. We arrived before opening, and there was already a line! Luckily we did not have to wait too long, though I was still a bit cranky about it. But the stained glass windows in St. Chapelle are lovely.

St. Chapelle
Jewel box

St. Chapelle rose window
Rose window

Later in the week we met a gentleman with binoculars who uses them to look at stained glass.  He said it is "mind-blowing." Usually Dan takes binoculars on bird-watching trips, perhaps next time he'll bring them to Europe for church-watching. After St. Chapelle, we wandered toward the Louvre, as I wanted to see the pyramid.

Carol at the Louvre
Carol at the Louvre

Many people at the Louvre
Lots of people

Dan had already been to the Louvre, and there were other museums I wanted to visit, so we did not go inside. Next time! It was time for a mid-morning snack, so we went to Angelina for the famous hot chocolate as well as some pastry. It was good, but the hot chocolate at Le Boulanger des Invalides is still my favorite. We crossed the street and walked through Jardin des Tuileries to Place de la Concord. I love the green metal chairs in the gardens of Paris.

Place de la Concorde
Carol at Place de la Concord

Then we went to see Monet's waterlilies at Musee de l'Orangerie. It is a small museum that used to be the orange house of the palace. In addition to Monet's waterlillies, there is a nice collection of Impressionist art that belonged to an art dealer whose name I cannot remember.

Earlier we saw an ad for a Babar exhibit at Musee des Arts Decoratifs, so we went inside to find it and promptly got lost. The museum is huge, parts of it were undergoing renovation, and the stairs and elevators seemed to lead to different parts of each floor. We did see some interesting Art Nouveau and Art Deco pieces, as well as a nice view of Jardin des Tuileries and the Eiffel Tower. 

View from Musee des Arts décoratifs
View from Musee des Arts Decoratifs

Eventually after asking several different people and returning to the entrance lobby, we found the Babar exhibit, which was quite charming. Dan enjoyed watching the interview with the author, and I liked looking at the illustrations of the elephants and other animal friends, especially those set in Paris!

It was time for lunch, so we headed to the Marais. We had a pastrami sandwich and spinach pie at Sasha Finklsztajn, then cheesecake for dessert. Dan also picked up a few more goodies for later in the day.

Lunch at Sasha Finklsztajn

After lunch we walked through the Marais to Rue Montorgueil, another shopping street. We got pastries at Stohrer, cheese at La Fermette, baguette aux cereales at Eric Kayser, and pointy triangular strawberries I had never seen before. Then we went to G. Detou, a wonderful food shop where we bought several mustards and chocolate and caramels. Then a stop at La Drougerie, a pretty shop with yarn, ribbon, fabric, beads, and more. It was neat to see Parisians buying their crafty supplies. I limited myself to just a bit of trim. From there we found E. Dellerin, the cooking supply store where Julia Child used to shop. It was fun exploring the many cooking implements, including a stockpot bigger than me in the basement.

We were feeling tired by then, so it was time for a nap back at the apartment. We had cheese, pate, cucumbers, sausages, wine, and the yummy baguette for dinner, and I tried the pointy strawberries, which were tasty. We also ate a few of the pastries, then headed off to the Arc de Triomphe!

Arc de Triomphe
Arc de Triomphe

It is huge and stands at the center of twelve avenues (I think). The views are spectacular. We could see the Sacre CoeurChamps-Élysées, Eiffel Tower, and La Defense. 

Carol & Dan
Atop the Arc de Triomphe

Eiffel Tower at dusk
Eiffel Tower

La Defense
La Defense (square arch) at sunset

We decided to wait until 10 o'clock to see the Eiffel Tower sparkle, and it got more crowded as we waited. But it didn't sparkle that night! So odd, as we had seen it sparkle the previous evening. I was disappointed, but luckily I had brought an eclair from Stohrer. I observed that chocolate eclairs in Paris have chocolate on top and chocolate cream inside. Yum.

1 comment:

snoopyjoanne said...

mmm a chocolate eclair can make everything alright! :)