It's summer in Paris and the city is alive with tourists. It was a bright sunny day when weheaded out for sightseeing today and thankfully the temperature is in the 70s.
Saint Sulpice is just around the corner from our hotel. Modeled after St. Paul's in London, this church has beautiful stained glass windows inside. Hearing and seeing the organ there is a pilgrimage for church organ enthusiasts like me but unfortunately Daniel Roth, the greatest organist in Europe won't be performing until after we have left.
My nephew recommended the Musee De Cluny which is the museum of medieval history. As a history teacher Dave really wanted to see it, but I was worried it would just be room after room of medieval paintings. I couldn't have been more wrong, Located in an old palace, it actually had a Roman bah inside the original walls. Inside the Roman Bath area were four of the oldest artifacts dating from 14 - 37 CE. Another room had the heads of statues that had originally been on Notre Dame, During a time in French history when religious items were destroyed these heads were buried in a citizen's backyard until they were discovered 200 years later and moved to the museum.
A former colleague of mine at school, Christine, always told me that putting black as a background on a bulletin board at school would make pictures pop. Preferring brighter colors I didn't always listen to her, but today I found out she was right, Beautiful stained glass from St. Chapelle was displayed in a room against a pitch black background and it looked stunning. The rest of the museum had well designed displays with priceless artifacts. In one room a guard was sound asleep. He perked up when a small group came in.
In the afternoon we visited he most incredible palace - Jaquemart Andre Museum. Built in the 19th century, it had more original artwork by Rembrandt and Van Dyck than many museums. What I loved about it was how the audio guide told the story of each room complete with photos of how it looked in 1913. Soft classical music played in every room and the entire place had the scent of fine French floral soap. We ate at the museum's elegant cafe on an outside terrace for coffee and scrumptious raspberry cream cake and it's a good thing it was so delicious. It turned out to cost $12 a slice.
I was not familiar with Galleries Lafayette. It has to be the largest department store I have ever seen. It takes up two city blocks. The main building is under a huge dome with stained glass and each floor surrounds the main floor so that you can see the dome from every level. Every designer is represented including Apple. It was the most incredible store I have ever visited, but we were so busy looking at everything we didn't buy a thing.
Early this evening we walked along the Seine. Along parts of the river are green metal boxes attached to the wall where traditionally artwork and books are sold, One booth had beautiful maps and old prints of birds, feathers, and eggs. I spotted a wicker basket of rubber stamps and ink pads for sale. Thinking Dave would like these if they had buildings of Paris on them I headed over, but the illustrations on these particular stamps would not be appropriate for a school! We laughed about it on the way back to the hotel. We'll miss Paris and the positive vibes here. Tomorrow we head to the lakes district of Italy.