jeudi 28 avril 2011

Cultural Paris

I took 2 of my children to Paris last week (sounds glam, but it's a 30 min trip on the tram and train.) I got a picnic ready, then we drove to the tram station, bought our tickets, hopped on the tram.
5 min and 4 stops later, we discovered that somebody else was going to enjoy our picnic as - I have just edited the sentence 5 times in order not to point at the culprit - the backpack had been left on the platform at the tram station. Too late to turn back or the whole trip would have been ruined. I was just very thankful that I had forgotten to take my camera, it would have been in the bag otherwise. I think the culprit was very grateful as well.
When we arrived at destination, train station "Invalides", we bought a picnic and headed towards Musée Rodin. Sounds glam again, and for those who have never heard of him, he was a famous 19th century sculptor, especially famous for The Thinker sculpture. I did not take a picture. Silly me without my camera.

However, it was hot, the children were hungry and I only took the garden pass (free for an adult with children, otherwise 1 Euro.) We had a lovely picnic in the gorgeous parc. It's forbidden, but like everybody else munching away around us, we were very discreet about it and took our litter with us. 
(Speaking of which, remind me to to write a "survival kit advice for a foreigner in France" post someday!)

Lots of trees, lots of sculptures, not too many tourists, we had a lovely time. 

Silly me without a camera managed to take a picture of the 2 children.
Le dôme des Invalides..

Then off to the Invalides and the Army Museum. I wanted Big Brother to see the models of the Vauban fortifications that were built all around France in the 17th and 18th Centuries.
Following the rule of 'not too long, not too boring", we rushed past the models, stopped wherever we wanted to, spent a long long time in front of 2 models that happen to be of cities to which we have family attachments. 
I recommend searching for 'Vauban' on the most common search engine on the web, you will learn everything there is to learn about him, more than from me. For an 'ignorant' like me, let's just say he was a military engineer/genius whom I know best for his designs of fortresses all along the french borders,  thus managing to give France an 'iron belt'.

This museum is maybe not a THE thing to visit absolutely whilst in Paris. But for a teenage boy who is interested in all things history-, politics-, war-related, it was fascinating, and the models were detailed and big enough to keep a 6-year-old girl's attention for a bit less than an hour.

Entry was 9 Euros for me, free for the children, and I bought the sandwiches at the train/tube station's bakery stand, as once you are outside, there is hardly any place to buy food to take away. One café outside the station, otherwise the café in the Rodin Museum was packed, and we did not explore the Army Museum's cafeteria... 

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