Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Exploring the Latin Quarter and the Marais

Bonnie and I were out the door early to explore the Latin Quarter for the various buildings that were associated with the writer Ernest Hemmingway when he lived in Paris.  We first looked for #74 rue Cardinal Lemoine near the top of the Rue Moufetard.  It is being remodeled and the worker took a photo of us together in front of the door!
Then we wound down curving little streets, finding another portion of the very old city walls, towards Montparnasse and the Restaurant of La Closerie des Lilas Café.  There were two more on our list but it had taken us so long to get to these two that Bonnie continued on her own; actually she left the trail and enjoyed walking Luxembourg Gardens from top to bottom…even found the beehives!
Meanwhile, I walked up Sainte Michel, jumped on the bus for a small portion, all the way to the apartment where I picked up Mary who’d been enjoying her morning in the apartment.  It was about 11 am by this time and we slowly strolled over to Saint Suplice Church where we met Bonnie again.  You’ll enjoy some of the photos we took along the way in the slideshow; especially of the flowers.
There we enjoyed the Delacroix Chapel where he did two magnificent paintings that fill two of the walls of this small side chapel.  I noticed that there is a note posted on the door leading to the stairs to organ loft that visiting the organ after Mass on Sunday is no longer available due to security reasons.   Sad, so glad that Jim and I did that after Easter Sunday mass in 2012. 
We also spent some time viewing the “Rose Line”…a fictional name given to the line in the floor of the church and used in the book by Dan Brown about “Angels and Demons”. 
Soon we were out the door and headed for the Metro Station.  There we used our magical passes and whizzed through the gates to our trusty steeds…the Metro.  One train change and we were on the right bank in the Marias at St. Paul’s Cathedral. Heading into the warren of tiny streets we first took Bonnie to the Musee Carnavelet; a free museum about the History of Paris.  Unfortunately many parts of it are closed right now for renovations.  But there was still lots to see.
Then Mary and I headed back a couple of blocks…along the way we saw a sign referencing the Paris Office for the Compostela Pilgrims.   We stopped and she was given a stamp that they put into pilgrims books to show that they had passed through the city on their way to Santiago de Compostela in Spain. 
We continued to the little square where Pete and Judy, friends from home who I met last year when I joined OLLI; a program for Seniors at our local University; were waiting for us for lunch.  Pete and Judy are here for a week after spending a week in London.  We enjoyed a delightful lunch outside at the La Terrace Santa Catherine Restaurant.   It’s always fun to meet friends from home when traveling!
After lunch we bid them goodbye as they headed for the Eiffel Tower and a tour that includes the areas that I’ve never seen under the towers where the gears and engines that run the elevators are located.  Plus they have a beautiful day of sunshine to go up the tower for views of the city of Paris.
Mary and I headed back to the Musee Carnavelet to walk through part of the museum and also meet up with Bonnie.  Soon we were headed back for the Rue de Rivoli and a stop at Starbucks for coffee and some internet time.  We’re trying to connect with Jane who is returning by Chunnel today from England.  No luck on the telephone…no wifi on the Chunnel we discovered. 
We are now back at the apartment waiting for Jane and then it’s off to dinner for our last night and then a ride on the Seine River before calling it a day.  Will post a bit more when I get home.
Well…it’s after 10 pm and we’re home from our evening out.  Had a wonderful dinner at a very French restaurant near the Fountain of Sainte Michel; Bonnie had canard and Jane and I had Beef Bourguignon and Mary enjoyed a vegetarian plate.   For dessert three of us had Cream Brulle and Bonnie had chocolate mousse. 
Oh, I nearly forgot the escargot that Bonnie enjoyed, onion soup for Mary and Jane and I devoured our mussels.    Then we walked down by the bridge at Notre Dame for an evening boat ride and that was already closed.  We debated going by cab to the Eiffel Tower where the ticket office was still open but decided we do a daytime ride tomorrow morning!    But we did enjoy watching the fancy rollerblade skaters and fire twirlers on the bridge performing for the crowds.
Thanks again for enjoying our three weeks in Paris with us; the next post will be in two days from Italy.  Hope you enjoy the slideshow: 

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