Paris – Troisième Journée

4 June 2010

Our third day began in an unfortunate manner with us all sleeping in until past ten in the morning, which meant we lost some of our impetus for getting out and doing things bright and early.

After a breakfast by the Louvre, we headed down into the Metro to get a train to the Marais to have a poke around. Walked up the Rue Pavée, where I didn’t stop to take a photo of where the poor Princesse de Lamballe met her demise this time and went to the Musée Carnavalet, which I really love. Dave and Oscar had a lovely sit down in the gardens while I took Felix around the museum, which he mostly enjoyed as he liked looking at paintings of places that he recognised from around the city.

I like taking photographs of myself reflected in eighteenth century mirrors…

Felix insisted that he wanted a photograph of himself looking at this clock, so here it is.

There was a minor fuss when he sat down on a Revolutionary Chair but it was all okay in the end. I love it in there though – I love the weird little objects they have like Danton’s Fork and Marie Antoinette’s Shoes and Robespierre’s Cup. They are great. My favourite thing, of course, is the Boilly portrait of Lucile Desmoulins.

I love the eighteenth century rooms in the Carnavalet – so many beautiful things!

Like this bust of a famous actress with her amazing hair!

Or this haughty Madame peeping out over the top of a screen.

Felix decided that actually *he* likes being reflected in old mirrors too!

The museum really looked its best today – it was so sunny outside so all the interiors were filled with light and sunbeams. It was really gorgeous.

I love paintings like this one, showing Paris as it was in the nineteenth century.

After the Carnavalet, we walked down the Rue des Francs Bourgeois and looked at the Hôtels Particulaires, which used to be the mansions of aristocrats then wandered around the Place des Vosges, which is really beautiful.

Lunch in the Place des Vosges. The boys really adored the strawberries that I bought for them on the Rue de Pavée.

What’s through the archway?

A beautiful mansion, bien sûr.

After this we walked back down the Rue des Francs Bourgeois and went to the Hôtel de Soubise, which is one of the most beautiful mansions in Paris. It was built by the Princesse de Soubise in the seventeenth century after she was the mistress of Louis XIV. The story goes that she would wear emerald earrings whenever her husband was elsewhere so that the King would know it was okay to visit her.

La Belle Madame de Soubise. She was a very thin redhead who was said to maintain her enviable figure with a diet of nothing but chicken.

The interior of the Hôtel was amazing – expect a proper post about this soon! In fact, I got loads of photographs today that will be inspiring dozens of posts over the coming weeks.

After our walk around the beautiful Marais, we walked down to the Hôtel de Ville and got the Metro to the Latin Quarter, which is another area that I really love although it has a very different feel to it. We walked up to the Place de l’Odéon so that I could see the house inhabited by Camille and Lucile Desmoulins before their executions and then we went around the corner to see the house on the Rue de Condé, where Lucile grew up and lived before her marriage to Camille.

The house where Lucile Duplessis-Desmoulins grew up.

After this we walked past the church of Saint Sulpice, which was covered in scaffolding so sadly I couldn’t go in to see where Lucile and Camille were married. Instead, we carried on to the Jardins du Luxembourg so that the boys could play and have some fun. It was a bit weird that no one was allowed on any of the grass, but it did look remarkably pristine! Dave took Felix into the playground, where he had a brilliant time, while Oscar and I had a vanilla ice cream, played in a sand pit for ages then went for a walk around the Palais du Luxembourg, which is very beautiful.

We eventually managed to prise Felix away from the park and went for dinner at Quick, which is like a French version of McDonald’s. I know, I know, but when you have small children sometimes you have to forgo romantic bistro meals in favour of what was actually a really nice goat’s cheese and roasted vegetable sandwich thing, while admiring your youngest son’s sudden passion for milkshakes.

After this we took a stroll up to the Panthéon then walked back down the Boulevard St Michel, which is a very lively and fun part of town. Decided to get the boat from Notre Dame to the Louvre instead of walking or taking the Metro, which turned out to be a good idea as we were just in time for a beautiful sunset over Paris.

Notre Dame…

The Louvre…

Righto, am sitting here with two sleeping boys, a husband who is attached to his iPad like a long lost love and a glass of wine so am going to sign off for the day. A bientot.