Saturday, 11 July 2015

June 27, 2015- French National Assembly, Rodin Museum, Les Invalides, and Some French Shopping

April Wakes up with a Cold, We Have Breakfast at Home, Metro to the Assemblee Nationale, Tour of Assemblee Nationale, Rodin Museum, A Disappointing Lunch, Napoleon's Tomb, the "Golden Triangle," Galeries Lafayette, A Taste of Brittany

We woke up early because we had a tour of the Assemblee Nationale at 10 A.M. and we had to be there 15 minutes early with our passports. April awoke with a cold this morning, no doubt being so run down from that nightmarish cruise did not help. We had breakfast at home. The French baking along with their far superior dairy and cheese are heavenly.

We took the metro to the Palace Bourbon. Being a former palace, the French National Assembly is much more fancy than anything we have in Canada (even with all that granite that we have). The tour was in French so we did not understand everything, but seeing the building and the chamber was thrilling (at least to Bill).

We left and walked to a cafe and had a cool drink and then walked to the Rodin Museum which is nearby. We found out that the main gallery is closed for renovations, but they moved all of the important works that were not already in the garden into another building so they can still be seen. Rodin was truly a master of the human form and seeing the works up close was fantastic. As an artist, April can appreciate the difficulty posed in capturing human hands and feet in particular! We posed in front of the original "The Kiss" sculpture, kissing as we had in Victoria when a bronze copy of it came to the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria in 2007. April surprised two Japanese men in the garden by greeting them in Japanese (this has truly been a many language holiday!).

We left and grabbed lunch at a cafe nearby. It was gross and we were disappointed (more under-cooked eggs, this time in an omelette, great!). It was clearly a tourist trap given its proximity to both the Rodin Museum and Napoleon's Tomb, but we were starving, so we weren't on guard).

We walked to Les Invalides (Napoleon's tomb). What a guy. That building, capped in 20 pounds of gold leaf, solid marble everywhere, and stunning leaded windows, puts anyone else's tomb to shame (except for maybe pharaohs with their pyramids).

Speaking of excess, we walked over to part of the "golden triangle," Rue de Faubourg Saint-Honore where some of the fanciest stores in Paris are located. There were lineups for some stores and inside other stores you would have thought that there had been an earthquake and the last food and water supplies on earth were in that store the way the tourists (primarily Chinese) were waving money around (some of them on the phone with other people or video calling to show them the goods) and walking out of the stores with numerous huge tote bags full of high priced designer goods.

We stopped a couple of times for a cool drink and ended up walking to Galeries Lafayette where we were swept into the store by a hoard of frenzied sales hunters (it's sales season here now). We could barely get onto the escalator to get up to the rooftop terrace that has a stunning view of Paris. The rooftop view was the highlight of our time in Galeries Lafayette (it was also pretty neat sitting in Starbucks in Galeries Lafayette and overlooking the bottom floor and looking across at all the other floors- it was built by the same architect that designed the opera house and is the prettiest department store you'll ever see).

We walked home and stopped by a different bakery on our way to pick up a baguette since tomorrow is Sunday and we were worried our bakery would be closed.

We stopped in briefly at home to look up our host's recommendations for food (since we were not having much luck on our own). He recommended a crepe restaurant near to home and we went there, Creperie Pen-Ty. We had a savoury crepe to start and then finished with a sweet crepe. All of the crepes were phenomenal and we were pleased with this taste of Brittany.

We returned home and slept gladly after 16.35 km walked today.

Bill couldn't wait for the tour of the Assemblee Nationale

Rococo mania in the to Palais Bourbon. Why don't our legislatures look like this?

Bill in the chamber

We want this library for our future home

April with Rodin's The Gates of Hell (is that the Costa Magica in there?)

The main museum was closed to viewing

He's still pondering

Spot the Costa customer . . .

The Kiss

I want 20 pounds of gold on the roof of my tomb, Les Invalides

Galeries Lafayette was designed by the same guy who built the opera house in Paris

Crepes for dinner

Bill's crepe Andouillette with chitterling sausage

April had tuna and cheese. A step up from a tuna melt

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