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Power Walking

November 7, 2014

Since I’d been there once before, I thought it would be a snap to find Rue Mouffetard, with its famous market, on Sunday morning; so we set out, after coffee, aiming to have breakfast when we got there. After a bit of misdirection we arrived at the Panthéon and ducked into a café, thinking maybe hunger was the cause of my difficulty getting my bearings.  I felt bad dragging Jama on such a circuitous route, but she was a great sport, assuring me that she just loved roaming through the neighborhoods.

When you get to the top of Mouffetard, it’s not immediately apparent that there’s a wonderful market there, but keep trudging down (thinking about the trek up later) and the enticing aroma of roasted chicken is enough to make you swoon. Nearly every stand has its own particular smell: the sharp, briny odor of the fishmonger, the pungent mélange of cheese…

Poulet Roti     Rue Mouffetard      Scallops

We followed music to the bottom of the hill, where an older man and younger woman were dancing to the strains of a small combo.

Dancers

Lunch, of course, was next, because we had many more kilometers to walk, so we snagged an outdoor table at this cute little café so we could watch the parade of shoppers passing by. We each ordered the “grande soup à l’oignon” and it lived up to its promise: it was huge.

Café le Mouffetard

Museum admission is free on the first Sunday of each month, and I had two in mind. Fortified by  our grande soupe , we pointed ourselves to the 7th arrondissement and the Rodin Museum. My internal compass was still malfunctioning, but we managed to find it.  It really is amazing to stand at the pedestal of “The Thinker,” which stands in the garden of the stately chateau housing the collection. And inside, of course, is The Kiss….

The Thinker             The Kiss

 

 

Onward through Les Invalides to l’Orangerie, just off Place de la Concorde (which wasn’t the crazy traffic nightmare one usually sees there) at the opposite end of the Tuileries from the Louvre. This wonderful and accessible museum was built specifically to house and display Monet’s Water Lilies in all their enormous majesty. There are two oval galleries, with the paintings ranged along the walls, depicting his gardens in all four seasons. The experience there is so different from seeing famous works at the Louvre, where you fight crowds even to catch a glimpse.  You can sit on a bench and gaze to your heart’s content. Downstairs are a permanent collection of Impressionists (Renoir, Cézanne, Dérain) and changing special exhibits.  A terrific museum.

Tuileries_                          Tuileries Louvre_

Our dogs were barking as we strolled through the Tuileries, and twilight was setting in, but when we got to the Pont Neuf (the landmark to turn into our neighborhood on the Left Bank) we took a little detour to the top of the bridge to see the lights come on, including the Eiffel Tower in the distance.

Eiffel from Pont Neuf

For dinner we took a short walk in the neighborhood and were delighted by our random restaurant selection on Rue de Buci. As I have often said, it’s hard to get a bad meal in Paris.

 

“Not all those who wander are lost.” ― J.R.R. Tolkien

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