Paris – Day 6

Our Friday in Paris began with a short half-block walk to St. Sulpice, an amazing church that we were fortunate to live near.  We were awestruck by the morning light beaming in and the great organ.  St. Sulpice is the second-largest church in Paris, only slightly smaller than Notre Dame.  It’s also a more functional church that is kept in regular use (and less for gawking tourists like us), so it isn’t as well kept as Notre Dame but rather represents a more realistic French cathedral.

Église Saint-Sulpice

Église Saint-Sulpice

Église Saint-Sulpice

Église Saint-Sulpice

Église Saint-Sulpice

Next, we headed to the Musée Rodin, which is located near the Hotel des Invalides and not far from the Eiffel Tower.  This may have been one of our favorite museums on the entire trip.  It was interesting to learn about Rodin, his sculpting process, and the controversy surrounding some of his works and then to see so many of them on display in the museums beautiful gardens and grounds.

We love this photo of “The Thinker” with the Eiffel Tower in the backgroundMusée Rodin-Le Penseur

The famous “Mask of the Man with the Broken NoseMusée Rodin-The Man with the Broken Nose

This sculpture is one I did not previously know but loved learning about, “The Burghers of Calais.”  That’s some sacrificial leadership!paris day 6

The “Gates of Hell,” which depicts scenes from Dante’s Inferno.  I could study this for hours and still notice cool new things.paris day 6

Musée Rodin-Le Penseur

After the museum, we walked through a cool antique street market.  It sure puts the term “antique” in a different context when you are in Europe and looking at pieces from the middle ages and renaissance.  Also, it was a bit surreal to see such valuable treasures for sale under a tent on the side of the street.

We then headed to Rue Cler, a quaint street that we had read a lot about, for lunch and shops.  I had read amazing reviews of the Cafe du Marche online and in travel guides for a delicious and authentic Parisian lunch experience, so we had to find it.  It lived up to expectations as being really affordable, too.  I enjoyed the duck confit, and when I say “enjoyed,” I really mean I could have eaten four plates of it and had it again for dinner.  It was perfect, and the people-watching was fantastic, too.

Our next stop was the Hotel des Invalides which houses the Musée de l’Armée, Musée des Plans-Reliefs, Musée d’Histoire Contemporaine, as well as Napoleon’s tomb.

paris day 6 293Musée de l'Armée Napoleon's Tomb

Napoleon’s tomb is ridiculously large and made of red porphyry on a green granite baseparis day 6

Musée de l'Armée

Musée de l'Armée

After all of the museums, it was time to be just like every other tourist and visit the Eiffel Tower.  It was fun for me to watch Lynne marvel at it, since it was her first time there.  When I visited in 2000, I literally ran up the stairs to the second platform (as high as you can go on foot), which was a lot of fun.  Lynne definitely impressed me with her willingness to bypass the elevators and make the long walk, even after being on her feet all day.Eiffel Tower at Sunset

Eiffel Tower

It’s such a beautiful view from the top, and this was only at the first platform!Skyline from Eiffel Tower

I can see my house from here! (behind les Invalides, where you see the crane – that’s our street at St. Sulpice).  The other building the juts out is the Pantheon.Skyline from Eiffel Tower

I get a little dizzy just looking at this pictureEiffel Tower

Montmartre and Sacré Coeur in the backgroundSkyline from Eiffel Tower

Skyline from Eiffel Tower

Skyline from Eiffel Tower

We really enjoyed being there at sunsetEiffel Tower at Sunset

Champs de Mars gardens, where hundreds of people had set up for picnic dinners, locals and tourists alike

Parc du Champs de Mars

After the tower, we went to a local grocery store to get cheese, snacks, wine, and beer both for our trip to Giverny the next day and to keep at the apartment for late night snacking.  The store was completely sold out of baguettes, and while there were great French and Belgian beers still on the shelves, almost all of the beer that were normal to me (Heineken, etc.) were sold out, likely purchased by picnickers we had just passed.

We returned home and ate dinner at a great relaxing place near our house, including risotto with mushrooms and some other pastas.  Our feet were sore, but we were really looking forward to a train ride and seeing a different part of France the next day.  Overall, the day was a great way to celebrate my birthday in Paris!Eiffel Tower

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