View from Montparnasse Tower (2013)

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Day 16

We awoke this morning knowing that this would be one of our last days in Paris - this trip.  Our plan for the day was to visit Musee Nissim de Camondo then go back to St. Germain to revisit a shop we like.

We bought another "carnet" of Metro tickets - just one to share this time - and rode Metro Line 4 to where we could change to Line 2, getting off near Musee Nissim de Camondo, which at Parc Monceau.  We walked through a small section of the park on our way to the museum.

I am always surprised at how the Parisians use their parks.  There was a group of young school children on a field trip and lots of runners and walkers.  Parisians have very small apartments with no gardens, so they use their parks as their back yards, and cafes as their living rooms.  When children are out walking with their parents, they often have a scooter they ride on while their parents walk.  I guess bikes are too unwieldy, though I have seen a few kids riding bikes.  By the way, French children playing in a school yard (there is a school next to our apartment) sound exactly like American kids playing in a school yard: loud - and there are screamers.  Doesn't matter whether they are yelling in French or English, they sound the same.

Musee Nissim De Camondo is a mansion formerly occupied by a banker who lavishly decorated it with 18th century French art and furnishing.  It is preserved in its original condition.  The banker had intended to leave the mansion to his son, but when the son was killed in WWI, he decided instead to leave it to Les Arts Decoratifs, which maintains it as a museum.   According the museum's website, it opens at 10, but when we got there around 11 we were told that the 2nd floor wouldn't be open until 1:45.  We could visit the 1st floor, then come back, which is what we decided to do.  The only thing to see on the ground floor is the kitchen, the scullery, and the servants' dining room.

After visiting the main floor, we left and walked around the area, which is very nice with lovely apartments and nice shops.  It is in the 8th arrondissement, which is where the Arc de Triomphe and Champs-Elysees are as well.  We did some window shopping, and when you see the delicious pastries in the patisseries, you can understand why the French call window shopping "window licking."  It is hard not to go in and buy something at every patisserie -- everything looks that good.  We had lunch at one of the famous boulangerie/patisseries "Eric Keyser".  We both had sandwiches on baguettes, a drink and dessert for about 10 euros.  It was a great lunch.

We still had about and hour and half before 1:45, so we decided it really wasn't worth waiting to go back to the museum, so we walked back to the Metro station, rode the #2, changed to the #4, and got off at St. Germain des Pres. We wanted to go back to a shop with handmade items, pottery and textiles, as we decided we need to buy some more.  We then strolled along Blvd. St. Germain for a while before taking the Metro line 4 home.  We got dinner at Picard for tomorrow night and I went to the Post Office to get a box to ship some stuff home.

Back at the apartment, we started to gear up for packing tomorrow.  Laundry - so nice to have the washer and dryer right here, and it is two separate units, not the combination washer/dryer that takes 2 hours for a cycle.

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