Tuesday, September 20th–Paris

The Metro to the Grand & Petit Palais and looking for the Palais de la decouvertre; the Musee Jacquemart Andre and lunch nearby; back home by Metro; walking over to Notre Dame again; dinner at Aux Tours du Notre Dame; concert of music about Mary at Notre Dame; the night cruise on the Vedettes du Pont Neuf; walking back home

Grand Hotel Malher



It's midnight just now and I got back here to my hotel room not long ago.

I skipped breakfast again this morning because I wasn't hungry yet but I was actually out the door not much after 10 AM.

Today I did went pretty much where I thought I might last night. I took the Metro from Saint Paul over to the station closest to the Grand and Petit palaces. I enjoyed the Petit Palais very much with its beautiful and interesting collection attractively displayed in an amazing and lovely building.

I hadn't realized that the Grand Palais is pretty much just a huge exhibition space and unless there's some big event going on there it's closed to the public. The most recent event finished this past weekend so there were huge moving trucks at all the entrances. I did get a picture looking into the huge empty center through a side door that was open for trucks, though.

I got a bit of a surprise when I looked at Google Maps to find out how to get to the Palais de la decouvertre from where I was on the side of the Grand Palais and it said "Permanently closed". I'd been trying to check their English language Web site which lists the days and hours they're open but when I looked at their real, French home page there indeed is a big notice that says something like "Closed for construction from August 29 to October 1".

I walked from the palaces over to the Musee Jacquemart Andre and found it without too much trouble although I did miss one of the turns at first because I couldn't find the street since once again the instructions from Google Maps involved going in a specific compass direction after a round about but I eventually found the right street and the museum about twenty minutes later.

It was about 12:30 by now so I decided I'd look for somewhere to have lunch that might be cheaper than the museum's cafe/restaurant first so I walked down to the end of the block past the museum and then back up. I found a very small, very busy place that does mostly take away but had a small table open and had a pretty decent quiche lorraine (the crust was a little too well done) and a dessert.

Jacquemart Andre is another example of a marvelous private collection that is still a private museum so my Paris/Museum Pass didn't include it but the moderate admission price was worth it. And there was quite a line waiting to get into the museum's restaurant when I got there and still when I was leaving.

I had looked up how to get back here to Saint Paul from the museum on Google Maps and was able to ask the guard on my way out which direction I needed to go to get to the correct Metro station. I got back here to my room about 4 PM. For some reason I didn't stop anywhere in the area on the way.

I hung out here in my room until around 6 PM when I left to have dinner somewhere before tonight's concert at Notre Dame at 8:30. Tonight I walked straight over to the Seine from the corner by the Franprix down to the Pont Marie Metro station and then along the Seine up to the Pont d'Arcole and over to Notre Dame. I looked in all the souvenir shops I went past to see if any of them also had the zip front sweatshirt I'd seen in a shop over by the Louvre but they didn't. It was still early when I got to Notre Dame so I sat in the Square Jean XXIII until 7 when I went back up to the main corner and had an omelet and a dessert crepe at Aux Tours du Notre Dame, which doesn't seem to have their own Web page. Dinner was very nice, though.

Tonight's concert was quite lovely. The four vocalists–soprano, alto, tenor, and bass–all had excellent voices. All of the music except one piece were devoted to the Virgin Mary; the one that wasn't was still religious if by the Protestant J S Bach but since it was for soprano, bass, and organ that made it OK. About half the pieces were a capella and the others were accompanied by organ, either the large cathedral organ or a smaller one in the middle of the cathedral. The pieces were from composers ranging from the medieval era to one born in 1982.

The concert ended at just before 9:45 PM. It was quite a lovely evening if mostly cloudy so I quickly walked to the other end of the Ile de la Cite to the dock for the Vedettes du Pont Neuf in time to catch their 10 PM cruise, and I even had time to use the restroom first. There was a small crowd for the cruise so although we were on one of their larger boats we were all pretty much out on the small exposed front part of the single deck. Paris is very lovely at night, the cruise was very enjoyable, and I think I got some good pictures. And now I really want to take the 2 hour night bus tour as well.

It was such a lovely evening that I walked back from the Pont Neuf here to the hotel, even though I'm kind of tired. Once I got back to the Rue du Rivoli I could have taken the Metro the two or three stations back to Saint Paul but I just walked from landmark to landmark along the route. At some point today or tomorrow I needed to stop by the laundry and see what time they open in the morning since Friday I have to be at the meeting place for the all day tour to Vaux le Vicomte/Fontainebleau by 9 AM so I stopped by and checked on my way back here this evening; the laundry doesn't open until 8:30 and since I don't think that would give me enough time I'll drop the load off sometime Thursday evening before they close and pick it up Friday.

I think tomorrow morning I'll walk over to the nearby Arab World Institute/Institut du Monde Arabe. When I was on one of the two guided walking tours of Paris when I was here last we started by walking over there and then went up to their roof terrace, and their current special exhibition is "Oriental gardens–from the Alhambra to the Taj Mahal". From there I'll take Metro back towards the Champs d'Elysees and go to the Rodin Museum, and the Hotel des Invalides with the Musee de l'Armee, the Dome Church and Napoleon's tomb, and the Musee des plans reliefs with its world class collection of models of buildings. That should take up most of the day.

It's almost 1 AM and I'm going to have some yogurt I have in the mini fridge and get to bed.

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