PARIS DAY 2: Beaucoup de Monuments

YESTERDAY WE WANDERED; today we walked. And walked. After a long-anticipated breakfast of croissants and cafe au lait at a sidewalk cafe on the Rue de Buci, we set off in the direction of the Musee Rodin to see its garden, below.

Above: Paul, a tea room and patisserie on the Rue de Buci

Our timing was just right. Roses are the main event there, and we found them in full and fragrant bloom, setting off the towering topiaries and Rodin’s muscular bronzes.

We headed across the Seine on the statue-bedecked Pont Alexandre, above, passing Louis XIV’s Les Invalides on the Left Bank and the iron-domed Grand Palais, an exhibition hall, on the Right. All the gilding and glittering was more than I could take in. To get one’s head around the history and architecture would require some serious study, or at least a proper guidebook. We strode past it all on the way to L’Orangerie to see Monet’s monumental Water Lilies and a much-easier-to-relate-to collection of Impressionist and post-Impressionist works on the lower level.

Place de la Concorde, above, a glorified traffic circle, with the Parthenon-like Madeleine in the background

Catnapping in the Tuileries

Lunch was Salad Nicoise at an outdoor cafe in the Tuileries; then we forged on to see the under-appreciated formal garden inside the Palais Royal, below, with its shady allees and, once again, the roses in their moment of glory.

A bit of shopping was in order, so we took back streets toward L’Opera, below, and spent an hour in Galeries Lafayette, the Art Nouveau department store.

The store’s atrium, above, is crowned with a massive span of decorative stained glass. We  rendezvoused on the roof terrace, below, which has a spectacular view of low-lying Paris.

The user-friendly Metro spirited us back to St Germain, where we had our best meal so far, below, at Restaurant Au 35 on Rue Jacob.

None of this was really planned, I might add. We just started walking in the morning and that’s how things unfolded. The weather was probably the main determining factor. It was too beautiful a day to spend indoors, even looking at great art.

About cara

I blog for fun at, and write about architecture, interiors, gardens and travel for many national magazines and websites. My recently published posts and articles can be found here:
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6 Responses to PARIS DAY 2: Beaucoup de Monuments

  1. Harriet says:

    Can I be you? How did this trip happen? Our favorites: Carondolet museum. You gotta hit the fleas even if you don’t buy anything. We like Porte de Vanves on Saturday and Sunday–small and manageable. Luxembourg Gardens. If it rains, go to the English language films at the Action theaters! Oh my!

  2. gap916 says:

    Ooh la la. Casacara is “back with a vengeance,” as my Dad used to say. You know this is the trip I thought I wanted to make myself this year, but life intervened and I was okay with it. Your posts are just about as good (expect for the food), especially from where I am right now. Some great shots there. Enjoy!

  3. try and visit Musee Antoinne Bordelle…in the ‘double digit’ arrondisements..the 14th..home of loads of artists
    if CasaCara were reporting in the early 1900’s, it would write this place up

  4. Julia Mack says:

    Makes me feel like I’m there–for only a moment or two–like a dream.

  5. Barbara says:

    Cara: I am addicted to your CasaCara&
    Now find you wandering Paris with lots
    of helpful hints. We arrive in Paris
    on Tuesday from the White
    Nights of St Petersburg
    & r looking forward to just being. Hope
    to run into u again.
    Barbara (twin sister of Bob)

  6. cara says:

    Hey, Barbara, good to hear from you. The nights are pretty white here, too. It feels like mid-afternoon at 8PM, and only gets dark after 10. That much more daytime to enjoy. Thanks, all, for the comments and suggestions!

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