Friday, July 27, 2012

Day 8 of Paris

Since I had such a lovely day yesterday, today I figured I would ask the lady at the desk what there was to see again. Unfortunately, neither of the two ladies, or the man who I usually meet were there. Instead there was a very unhelpful man.
I decided then to check out the Trocadéro since I had heard so much about it, and the Petit Palais, since it was recommended yesterday. So off I went.
This morning I was not completely lost! I only had to check the picture I have of the map once when I reached the St. Germain/ St. Michel intersection to make sure I was walking in the right direction. I took the bus to Invalides and then two trains to get to the Trocadéro station. The Paris metro is easy to navigate since it closely resembles the NYC one that I know.
After having breakfast in a nice little cafe, the first place I visited was the Cité de l'Architecture & du Patrimoine which is basically a showcase with models of various pieces of architecture throughout France or pieces done by french designers and architects. I got in with my museum pass (yay!). With the pass, I was allowed on three floors. I did not take pictures here because they were models. I figure if I'm gonna go through the trouble, I should be on location. Most of the models on the ground floor, particularly the roman, gothic and renaissance architecture are true to size, so there were large archways, columns and gargoyles. It was really nice.
The second floor had smaller models, but they were more intricate, displaying the different styles of building by notable French architects or of buildings in France. There was also a section on the evolution of the murals in cathedrals and other public buildings as well as some stained glass. There was a crypt in here.
This is a view from the second floor window:

The third floor had wall paintings found in a church, a chapel and the Crac des Chevaliers. Some of these paintings had the passion of Christ from Judas' betrayal right up until the resurrection. The images were well thought out and executed (and therefore a bit scary).
I had lunch at the museum's cafe with this view:

This was outside between the Cite and the other building with the Musee de l'Homme and Musee de la Marine (both of which I couldn't care less to see).

I then walked down to the Trocadéro. I didn't really have a clue what this was, and I don't even know if I saw it because the map marks this general area and I saw no sign saying "Trocadéro".

This was the other building with the marine museum. I think. It could also be the one I went in. They both looked the same.

And coming down the terrace to get a closer view

I figured this was the start of the Trocadero because it was right where the map said it would be.

I did go through Cimetière de Passy which had gravestones of prominent (or at the very least, rich) french families and soldiers. The gravestones look nothing like the ones back home. They put more effort (and finances) into this operation.

I then walked through a nice little park where I am now firm in my belief that people will sleep anywhere there is a shaded spot of grass that dogs have not peed in. I didn't want to take any pictures there because people were relaxing and I didn't want to seem stalkerish. I sat on a park bench to relax my legs while a cute boy sat on the other bench next to me eating his lunch.
I headed to Champs Elysees but saw a sign directing me to Musee du Vin. I HAD to see what that was about and I'm glad I did. It was quite a walk in the other direction, but it was worth it. The staff are really nice. I looked at the cellars before deciding to see the museum. It was pretty much what you'd expect - the history of wine making starting with digging the cellars, picking the right fruits, extracting the juices and fermenting to get the desired wine. There were also sampling glasses used by monks who made wines and chalices used by priests who dispensed it in ceremonies. I loved the atmosphere of the place. It was dark, cavernous and the walls were all stone like a real wine cellar.

I also had a sample glass of wine called Gaillac Doux Pres du Coeur from loin se l'oeil. It was so good omg.
I passed through the Promenade de cours Alfred...

... before reaching the Grand Palais.

I had no intention of going in there since I was already tired from making that trek but I wanted to check the Petit Palais. I crossed the street

And reached.

As I entered the Petit Palais, I was met with this

And saw the Jardins through the glass.

I didn't take any pictures here because I was tired and most of it was paintings (saw a Monet!), Art Nouveau and Pottery and I've seen lots of that in this trip. I didn't get to go out on the garden because the place was closed for an exposition by then.
After that I made it to Champs Elysees which is a designer shopping area like 5th Avenue (I didn't know). By this time it was raining heavily and my sneakers were absorbing water like a sponge (literally) so I headed for the nearest station and marvelled myself with my mad metro skills.
Thankfully when I got back to the hotel (dinner in hand), the nice lady was back by the counter and she gave me directions to a chocolate museum. I got the card from the wine place but didn't know where it was and she said it was supposed to be nice if you like chocolate. Which I am addicted to.

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