Tuesday, December 8, 2015
08.12.2015 - 09.12.2015
Up early to pack and check out. Walked down to the train station and got breakfast at Paul’s. Now we wait . . .
They finally posted our track and we went out to wait by a cold, windy, empty track. No security this time. A double-deck train eventually arrived and our car managed to stop right in front of us. Great luck. Ed stowed the luggage and we hiked back to our seats. Not as much space as the TGV to Strasbourg but much better than a plane. We zipped through the French countryside at 300+ km per hour and soon arrived in Paris . . . and rain. We found the #47 bus to our hotel and our room was ready so we checked in and Ed walked over to St. Médard to check Mass times for the Holy Day. It’s 7:00 PM so we have the whole afternoon free.
After we checked into the hotel, we left to find lunch and decided to head away from rue Mouffetard. We found Verse Toujours a block away at the corner of ave. des Gobelins and rue du Fer à Moulin. It looked good and they were still serving so we went in and got a nice warm, dry table by the window. We both ordered the magret de canard and when it arrived, it was skewered and served on a slate with a wonderful ratatouille. The magic ingredient seems to be a bay leaf. We loved it. Ed noticed they had Berthillon ice cream so we decided to order dessert. He got a Liégeois and I asked the waiter if he could make the Dame Blanche a Dame Noir by substituting chocolate ice cream for the vanilla. He could and did, and announced a “Dame Noir” when he brought it. The staff were all terrific as was the food. [Verse Toujours, 3 Avenue des Gobelins, 75005 Paris; tel: +33 (0)1 4331-0698; https://www.versetoujours.com/]
After lunch we decided to hop the Metro to Odéon and visit the Fragonard exhibit at the Luxembourg Museum. It was drizzling when we entered the Metro and pouring when we exited at Odéon. Up with the umbrellas and off we went through the rain. We finally arrived at the museum wishing we’d gotten off at the Mabillon exit. Semi-serious security in the rain and it was a nuisance but we got through and into the museum.
Bought our tickets, checked our coats and umbrellas. They gave us plastic bags sealed at both ends . . . not too smart, but we finally got them open at one end and deposited our dripping umbrellas. We skipped the audio guides and entered. Photos were allowed but not a lot of Fragonard is worth photographing. His work has always seemed too precious for my taste. The cute pink cheeks turn into a stereotype. He's done some wonderful portraits of old men but they were not in this exhibit. It was interesting and we did enjoy it and best of all, the rain had stopped when we left. We love the Luxembourg Museum because it always has a different exhibit. They only have visiting exhibits and they are all interesting, ranging from superb to okay but always very well done. This particular exhibit was "Fragonard in love: Suitor and Libertine." [Musée du Luxembourg, 19 rue de Vaugirard, 75006 Paris; tel: +33 (0)1 4013-6200; http://en.museeduluxembourg.fr/]
From the Luxembourg, we walked to Mabillon past St. Sulpice church and took the Metro back to our hotel where we dried off and checked e-mail before walking over to St. Médard for Mass. It was held in the space between the old altar and the new one and we were a small group. The cantor was excellent and it was a friendly group of neighbors. They had the songs memorized! http://saintmedard.org/
Walked back to the hotel enjoying the Christmas decorations for the last time, and got everything packed, checked in for our flight and checked e-mail. I arranged a wake-up call for 5:05 AM, set my alarm for 5:00 and we slept.