Friday, September 16th–Paris

Rainy again; laundry again; Musee Carnavalet; the Carreau du Temple and the Square du Temple; Musee des arts et metiers; the Church of St Gervais-St Protais; pint at the Auld Alliance; FranPrix snack run; dinner at La Favorite

Grand Hotel Malher



Before I went to bed last night I checked online to see if I could find good night tours of Paris, both by tour bus and boat. The Big Bus company offers a two hour tour every night beginning at 9 PM from their office out on the Champs Elysees which is twice as long as everyone's usual single route tours, so I think I'll do that some evening when the weather's good. The Vedettes du Pont Neuf, which leaves from closer to my hotel than any of the other cruise lines, offers their usual Seine cruises well into the evenings with sailings every half hour from 8 to 10:30 PM so I think I'll do that as well some fine evening.

It wasn't raining when I went to and came back from breakfast downstairs but shortly after I returned to my room it started raining and then didn't stop until sometime until after 11 AM so I waited until then to take my laundry the few long blocks over to the laundry. It's not a one day service since my clean clothes won't be ready for me to pick up until after 5 PM tomorrow, and the place closes at 7. It will still cost me quite a bit more than it would if I bought my own laundry supplies and spent a few hours in the laundromat doing my own clothes there–42 Euros–but it's cheaper than I've paid when I've had my clothes done at some of the hotels I've stayed in this trip and will of course mean I have that time free. After I dropped my laundry off I came back here to pick up my camera and went out again for the day.

Two of my many favorite museums here in Paris are right in the Marais neighborhood. I started out at the delightful Musee Carnavalet which is only a few blocks away from the Grand Hotel Malher. I really love and enjoy the Carnavalet for many reasons. It's in a wonderful building and its collections are very interesting and very well laid out. It's just a very fun place to wander around.

I then walked over to the area where the Knights Templar were located here in Paris. Part of their former precinct was developed into a huge covered marketplace in 1811, which was remodeled in 1863, and has now been converted into an events space, the Carreau du Temple. The rest was turned into a very lovely park, the Square du Temple. Before I went into the park I walked around its perimeter taking pictures of the many beautiful buildings in the area, including the offices of the Mayor of the Troisieme Arrondisement which is one of the nicest. The park was quite busy when I was there but I was able to find an empty bench and just sit and read on my smart phone for a while just because it was so pleasant.

I then walked on over to the neighborhood of my next stop, also one of my very favorite museums and not just here in Paris, the Musee or Conservatoire des arts et metiers, founded in 1794 as a showcase of new and interesting technologies. This place also has an amazing collection of items on display ranging from the 17th Century through to the present, including what is now a replica of the original Foucault's pendulum which hung and swung in the museum from 1855 to 2010 when the current replacement was hung. Before I went into the museum, though, I had a very nice lunch at a café in the area.

There are two ways I could have come back from Arts et Metiers, both following the same route–Rue Beauborg to Rue de Rivoli. I could have taken the subway on each stretch, which I had intended to do, but when I looked towards the Rue du Rivoli along Rue Beauborg from the Arts et Metiers Metro station I could see Notre Dame in the not far distance which meant Rivoli was within walking distance and once I got to Rivoli I was at Hotel de Ville so St Paul was now in sight and so within walking distance as well.

I did take a detour to visit the Church of St Gervais-St Protais which I've mentioned before. I still think it's a lovely old church but it certainly wasn't lit very well when I was there so I had to use the flash on my camera to get any good pictures at all, which I try not to do in churches. There were only a few other people in the church when I was there, and most of them seemed to be the cleaning crew. I was also rather depressed to notice that there were at least a couple of homeless people sleeping or passed out very near the front of the church. In fact, as I was leaving a nun in the older style of uniform we rarely see in the US came out of a door and got on her bicycle near one of the sleepers. Because it was still only around 4 PM I also went to the Auld Alliance for a pint, then stopped off at the Franprix on the corner for another watermelon/melon salad, some chips, and a beer. I ate the fruit salad before starting on these notes but think I'll have a glass of the juice I bought yesterday before I go to bed and save the beer and chips for later.

Not long after I got back to my room it started raining again, and even though it hadn't stopped by 7:30 PM I needed to go out for dinner. I didn't go far, though, only down to the restaurant on the corner, La Favorite, which was very busy and had at least a couple of rather loud groups most of whom would probably have been outside if it wasn't raining. I had a very nice dinner anyway, some delicious but messy French onion soup (it's the cheese that makes it messy), some lovely risotto with shrimp, a bowl of red berries (raspberries, strawberries, and some other very small berry) for dessert.

It's now about 11:30 PM and I'm going to call it a night. For some reason I feel kind of tired this evening. I'm going to have a small glass of juice and go to bed.

I'm not entirely sure what I'm going to do tomorrow. It's not supposed to rain but to just be cloudy all day. I have to be back in the area between 5 and 7 PM to pick up my clean laundry. I might go back to another wing of the Louvre if I can get there before noon. This past July the Louvre opened a new exhibition area in the Sully wing, the Pavillon de l'Horloge which is devoted to the development of the Louvre itself, so I think that wing will be my target tomorrow.

The much smaller but as delightful Musee de l'Orangerie is a further 20 minute walk away from the Louvre down the Seine and through the Jardin des Tuileries. From the Orangerie back here is a 40 minute walk or I could just take the Metro from the Concorde or Tuilleries stations back to St Paul.

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