Day Five – The Pantheon and Shakespeare’s

A very busy day. I went for breakfast at Le Descartes and then took a walk around to find a supermarket, we needed bags for our laundry. I found another lovely wrought iron staircase bedecked with flowers and a store that sells and makes miniatures for table top gaming. Later, Jeff and I both went back to Le Descartes for morning tea and then we were off to the Pantheon.

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The square that the Pantheon is in, has two other majestic buildings and we caught our first glimpse of the Eiffel Tower. It is hard to convey in words or pictures just how mammoth these buildings are. The Pantheon’s dome is covered because of repairs. The square in front of the Pantheon was filled with students from surrounding schools enjoying the sun with their lunch.

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The columns at the front of the Pantheon are magnificent.

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The inside of the Pantheon is as magnificent as the outside. It is filled with amazing sculptures and paintings that highlight it’s history as first a church dedicated to Paris’s patron saint, St. Genevieve and then as a national monument.

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Probably the most interesting part of the building to so many visitors are the crypts below the building where many famous people are entombed; including Voltaire, Rousseau, Victor Hugo, Emile Zola, Alexandre Dumas, Marechal Lannes, Jean Moulin, Andre Malraux, Jean Monnet, Rene Cassin and Pierre and Marie Currie. The crypts are a warren of curving tunnels and chambers holding the tombs and there are still many empty chambers with room to entomb many more persons.

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Back at the hotel Jeff had a rest and I sat in the hotel gardens and attempted to make a watercolour sketch of the Pantheon. I so love these gardens, so peaceful and full of life. Many birds live in them, including a rook who thinks he is the boss of the place and a pair of very loud mourning doves.

Later in the afternoon, I headed back to the river to check out Shakespeare’s Book Store. I ended up buying a history of the store, a tote bag, a Gertrude Stein book, a collectors copy of Othello and an art book on how to doodle in Paris. I could take picture after picture of the buildings in Paris. It is a very pretty city.

Later for diner we headed to Place de la Contrescarpe, a square only a block from our hotel that has many cafes, a bakery and a gelato shop. We did not find a cafe we liked the menu for, so we went to Le Descartes again where we dined on steak and duck and had chocolate mousse and custard and apricot pie. The perfect end to a perfect day.

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