Saturday, July 28, 2012

Day 9 of Paris

Today I went to the Choco-Story, Les Jardins de Luxembourg and the Musee de Bourdelle. So first up, I walked to St. Michel station to get to Choco-Story. On the way, I got a few little things, including breakfast. This was a special with orange juice, tea, an omlette, croissant and bread with jam and butter. Naturally, I could not finish it. Then it was to set off north (or at least the area above on the map).
Choco-Story is as its name implies, a place telling the story of cocoa in Central America, about the plant, its uses and its popularity in Central America and then in Europe. There was a bit on the name and subsequently how the chocolate we are familiar with came about.
There were tools and utensils used by the Aztecs. There were also recipes for the Aztecs and Spanish special mix.

Spanish apothecaries, and subsequently adding sugar to the hot cocoa.

Chocolate was made.

Hald dolls made of porcelain were used as cosies. They couldn't resist making it look pompous, really.

The Swiss Daniel Peter makes milk chocolate. Oh bless him. These are some tools used to do this:

Mixing the cocoa with cocoa butter makes solid chocolate. Moulds were used to make shapes. These ornaments are made entirely out of chocolate as well as the clothing and accessories on the mannequins(I should mention that this floor smelled DIVINE).

There was even a demo for how to make bon bons (with samples!) that was given by this nice young man.

After that, I walked around aimlessly until I saw a sign for the Marco Polo Square. It's actually the Marco Polo and Explorers (or something that sounds like that) Square.

Then I went to the Jardins de Luxembourg, which is actually really close to my hotel. This place as ginormous! There were statues (of course):

An area where these old people were playing this thing where they throw balls. Kind of like marble pitch, but much bigger marbles.

There was a playground complete with jungle gym, tennis courts, basketball courts, an area for riding horses (or so it said on the plan - I never found it), a museum, this place:

And a pond:

As well as a palace. This was not open for visitors but the guards are friendly and one was cute.

Finally, I made it to the Museum of Bourdelle. You would never think that was where I was headed after the Chocolate Museum. It was a free museum (yay!). Bourdelle was a painter, teacher and sculptor who worked with bronze, marble, plaster and wood. There was a garden with some of his bronze pieces:

Visitors were allowed inside his workshop where there was a short tutorial on techniques to sculpt and work that we were allowed to touch.

The room he slept in:

Some work in plaster.

He did a series on Beethoven's head and bust.

And these were two of his more famous pieces. He actually did the bow and arrow one many times in different sizes and materials and they all looked EXACTLY the same. It was awesome.

After this, my feet ached too much to do anything but grab dinner and call it a night.

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