Friday, December 4, 2015
04.12.2015 - 05.12.2015
Slept late again. Nothing opens before nine to eleven o'clock so there's not much sense getting up early. Had breakfast and took the Metro to the Cluny Museum which now has security. Spent a lovely morning in the Cluny which has and is undergoing major renovation. Most notable was the rearrangement of the collection and new display space. Much better lighting (and hanging) for the Lady and the Unicorn tapestries. They have more tapestries exhibited in general and have hung them beautifully. There are also more Roman ruins open.
The Lady and the Unicorn tapestries are so well lighted that I managed to get photos of all six of them. They depict the five senses, taste, hearing, sight, smell, and touch. The sixth one has the words "À mon seul désir" and one interpretation is that tapestry depicts love. Naturally the scholars thoroughly enjoy debating the meaning.
Besides the wonderful tapestries, I love being able to get up close and personal with the beautiful stained glass. It is much easier to see than in a church when it is way up over your head and you need binoculars. It was a fun visit. http://www.musee-moyenage.fr/visiter/english.html
Walked to our favorite Paris restaurant, La Bastide d’Opio, for lunch and got our usual table under the stairs. Our waitress (new) wasn’t the brightest bulb in the chandelier but she was very nice and cheerfully returned the two Coca Colas she brought instead of the Côte du Rhone we had ordered . . . and had pointed to in the menu. My French may not be great, but my pointing skills are excellent.
After that, we were fine. We both got the breast of duck and it was excellent with a honey-raspberry sauce and herbed mashed potatoes. Ed got a chocolate cake with blood orange sorbet for dessert and I got a great tarte tatin and coffee. Excellent lunch. [La Bastide d'Opio, 9 rue Guisarde, 75006 Paris; tel: +33 (0)1 4329-0184; http://www.bistrot-opio.com/]
We took the Metro out to La Defense, a first for us. There is a huge Christmas Village set up under the Grande Arche. You go through Security to get in and again every time you change sections. As we wandered back and forth, one guard reached the point of waving us through since my bag wasn’t very interesting. There were police patrolling and very friendly vendors. We didn’t buy anything . . . pretty much the same as yesterday except much of this was made in China. It is pretty but it seems very commercial. There were cute animals in a manger-type section, but my camera card came loose and only two photos of animals came out. The pictures I took of police patrolling both came out . . . go figure. The gendarmes were fine but the fuzzy little animals were cuter.
My chief regret is that I was too full from lunch to buy some of the wonderful breads that were for sale. There was one huge cake that looked scrumptious and there were very large bread boys with raisins that I know would have been wonderful. The next time we visit, I'll skip lunch and eat at the booths. Live and learn . . .
We took the Metro back to our hotel and caught up with e-mail and rested then walked up rue Mouffetard checking menus. Ed wanted soup and it was not to be. In Paris for the evening meal you eat a proper meal or go to a bar for a snack. We got almost as far as Pl. Contrascarpe and noticed the prices getting higher the farther we walked, so we decided to turn around and go back to a fondue place we’d seen that looked nice. Fondue seemed like a good substitute for soup on a chilly evening. Entered and were seated at the cute red and white checkered tables. We both ordered the three-cheese Savoyard fondue and a half bottle of Chablis. Our fondue arrived with enough bread for an army and plates full of roasted potatoes and very thin ham slices. It was absolutely delicious but we couldn’t begin to finish it. So sad . . . We did ask what the third cheese was and he said, “Compte” so I’ll have to try it at home. It was very rich! [L’auberge De La Mouff-chez Nadine, 83, rue Mouffetard; +33 (0)1 4337-6439; http://www.lafourchette.com/restaurant/auberge-de-la-mouff/66293]
Easy walk back to the hotel. Paris is wonderful.