Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Paris Luxembourg Gardens and Museum, Walking Through Paris

Le Jardin du Luxembourg (Luxembourg Gardens) are always a favorite spot to relax, wander, enjoy the day, and, sometimes, grab a little lunch.  The gardens were started in 1612 as part of the Luxembourg Palace built for the widow of King Henry IV.  Today, the gardens are open to the public and owned by the French Senate, which meets in the Palace.  In the middle is a circular basin, where people (young and old) still sail model sailboats.

 Enjoying the spring day in the Luxembourg Gardens

 Model boats in the basin

We walk through the gardens and around the buildings to the Musée du Luxembourg, a small museum at the end of the gardens, with another Pissaro exhibition focusing on one period in his life, Pissaro in Eragny, where he spent much of his later years from 1884 until his death in 1903.  Many of the paintings are landscapes seen through the window of his studio or from other rooms in his house, finding something new to share with us in every setting.

 Pissaro in Eragny

But, enough art, time to explore.  We head over to Place Saint Michele, walk through the streets of restaurants and cross the Seine to Notre Dame Cathedral.  The line to get into Notre Dame is long and we pass it by, heading over to our favorite restaurant supply store, E. Dehilleron, to wander the aisles, and then back past the high-end shops on Rue du Faubourg Saint Honeré (complete with much extra security as we pass the back sides of the US Embassy and the residence of the French President).  We stop at our hotel, freshen up, and, as the sun sets, head back over to Place St. Michel to find dinner. We know we'll run into tourists here, but we're thinking fondue and this is where we know to find it.

 Sunset as we walk to Place St. Michel

We share an appetizer of escargot, then the fondues:  cheese fondue with plenty of charcuterie and bread for Laura, and beef/duck fondue for David, with boiling oil in which to cook the meats (with long fondue forks) until they are perfectly done.

Escargot shared appetizer

Cheese fondue with charcuterie, foudue with beef and duck

We enjoy the fondues, along with a carafe of house wine, and talk with the people next to us (actually at a table in the restaurant next door), first an American couple, then a Dutch couple.  What a great evening!  The walk back to the hotel turns out to be spectacular, with great views of Paris at night.

 Night sights walking along the Seine

 And, for the grand finale, the sparkling lights on the Eiffel Tower!

Eiffel Tower at night

Thus ends another great day in Paris!

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