After our lost day yesterday, today was for me very full and very rewarding. Jeff stayed in bed late, but I left by 8:30 am to walk to the Musee Cluny to see the Lady and the Unicorn tapestries. I stopped at a deserted, little hole in the wall cafe, called Le Bistro Perigord for a light breakfast of croissant and tea. A delightful gentleman served me there. I love Paris and I think the number one reason is the wonderful friendly people I have encountered here. As long as you try to say hello and thank you in French, Parisians make their best effort to treat you well. I took a few photos on the way, the most interesting of the university.
I got to Cluny just as it was opening. There were only about 10 other people going in. The least amount of people I have seen going into any attraction here.
There are many historical items to view here. Pieces of facade that were once on Notre Dame as it was changing over the centuries, many religious icons and artifacts, beautiful stained glass, old decorative dishes and of course tapestries. The museum houses many tapestries besides The Lady and the Unicorn set. I was keenly reminded while here, how I had once considered taking a university degree in mediviel literature or art history. You were allowed to take non flash photos, but I opted to just enjoy it and not worry about camera angles and lighting and such. I left going to the room with The Lady and The Unicorn tapestries for last. I spent a good hour enjoying this room with it’s six recently restored treasures. They are very beautiful. I am thinking I will go back just to take some photos. I did purchase some cards, a calendar and book with the tapestries images.
I went to a little park behind the Museum to organize my purchases and have a drink before heading on to St. Germaine. Blvd. The park had some very beautiful apartments across from it.
My plan had been to take a bus to the Documents and Manuscripts museum which was a long ways up St. Germaine Blvd. The joke was on me, as it is a one way street going the wrong way! So I started to walk. What a lucky circumstance. I came to the part of St. Germaine where Les Deux Magots, Cafe de Flora and Brassiere Lipp are. I stopped to take photos and after looking at les Deus Magots menu, (restaurant and cafe menus are all posted outside in Paris) I realized I could afford to have lunch here.
Lunch was amazing, especially the beautiful berry and violet macaroon I had for dessert. I took out my purse journal and wrote while I was here. How could I not write sitting in a place where Hemmingway, Picasso and other acquaintances hung out?
I took my time and enjoyed the beautiful buildings and shops along St. Germaine Blvd during my long walk to the Documents and Manuscripts Museum. Once there, I enjoyed perusing the handwritten letters, lists, manuscripts and music of hundreds of historically important and famous persons, including artists, musicians, scientists, writers, politicians, generals, Kings, Queens and even Zars. I found some interesting writing utensils in the gift shop and a gift for my hamster sitting BFF back at home.
I took the bus back and managed to transfer off the St. Germaine line onto a bus that got me within a block of the hotel. A very friendly Parisian lady took the time to befriend and talk to me on the bus.
Back at the hotel I rested for a couple of hours and then got ready for Moulin Rouge. We braved the metro yet again to get there. We went early so we could go have dinner first. We went to an Irish Pub that we ended up leaving. It really smelled bad and we were being ignored. We found a lovely Italian restaurant we we had a simple cheese pizza and cokes. Then it was to the most famous cabaret in the world.
Moulin Rouge was entertaining beyond our expectations. Not only did it showcase its famous can can dancers in huge musical production numbers, but many other vaudeville type high quality acts; a comedic skit by acrobatics, a daring roller skating dance couple that had our hearts in our mouths, a naked lady in a water tank full of snakes, and an amazingly talented and comedic ventriloquist. To see inside this beautiful nightclub was itself an experience. It is huge, opulent and was very crowded. We found the seating uncomfortable, but the staff attentive. After the show we took the last metro back to the latin quarter and went to our favourite cafe, Le Descartes, where I enjoyed the best French onion soup ever and a baguette and we chatted at length with the staff whom we know quite well after our many visits there.