A (Marathon) Paris Walking Tour

Oh wow, it hurts. It hurts sometimes being this cheap thrifty. We walked something around eight miles today in our quest to play tourist in Paris. I suppose that most tourists take the subway or a taxi for distances such as these, but with regards to my consistent (daily/hourly/minutely) encounters with cheese and bread in this somehow-skinny country, we decided to combine money-saving tourism with a bit of "exercise." So it's a good hurt, I tell myself. 
Breakfast of Champions
But I'm getting ahead of myself, because, you see, before all this low-cardio strolling, I woke up to a note on the door saying "no gingers allowed in the kitchen" and soon realized that John was getting ready to give me a belated day dedicated to my birth (the actual day was on our 4th farm and we didn't have many means to celebrate). So he did it up right, woke early, and had breakfast waiting when I woke up. 

It was truly done in the style befitting a lady-of-leisure (I call myself this on occasion as a result of the false-reality I sometimes live in).
omelet france
Who taught him how to plate?
So after a good dousing of indulgent and heavy breakfast food (take that France, boo to your scant morning bread and jam!), we set off on what soon turned into a tourism day hike.

First stop: The Holy Trinity Church, where we expected to see a free choir practice. Instead we just saw an empty church. Apparently it wasn’t going on that day (perhaps because most Parisians evacuate the city in August for vacation). So much for that extra five miles…
art museum paris
Passing by the Louvre courtyard (where I distanced myself as much as possible from the throngs to get at least one picture) 
national music academy paris
Taking the Avenue de l'Opera on the way to the Holy Trinity Church brough us by the National Academy of Music
siene france
John's having a terrible time

We had lunch overlooking the Siene and a few shirtless old men on their houseboat. Fruit and leftovers—pretty exciting. But you can’t really go wrong on a beautiful day in Paris while picnicing on a river, even if there are hairy topless men lounging like walruses in front of you.

And then we were off to the Petit Palais to stare at things in the Museum of Fine Arts (i.e. Musée des Beaux-Arts) because their permanent collection has free admission. I won’t bore you with my unqualified review (visit=worthwhile), but I will mention that it was my least favorite in terms of museum layout; too many turns and little rooms made me feel like I was walking in little squares the whole time. It's a museum for the serious fine art lover (no big surprise there), not the person with tired feet and a comparatively mild interest in art from this period.
paris seine
Scenes from the Seine (pretend I'm saying that as though there's a pun)
Musée des Beaux-Arts
Entrance & courtyard to the Museum of Fine Arts
Just down the street we awkwardly filed into the Museum of Modern Art (Musée d'Art Moderne). Foolishly, we didn’t know how to express “we want to visit the free permanent collection,” so after a couple seconds of mostly just staring at the nonresponsive desk attendants, we just shuffled off into the exhibit hoping that we were obeying rules. Turns out we were, and we saw some amazing Matisse murals, general abstractism, cubism, fauvism stuff, and some more very modern art (video/sound projects or rooms with shelves full of clothing…things like that). 
robert delaunay
Rhythme  n°1: Robert Delaunay , 1938
While I don’t quite see the artistic value in a video of people breathing in and out of a plastic bottle (a modern video display we witnessed), I’m sure it’s in there somewhere. I loved this museum because the projects were strange and colorful, and thus entertaining for my ADD mind. Iamlikeachild.
fashion museum france
Just across from the Museum of Modern Art, you'll find the  Musée Galliera, or the Paris Fashion Museum. I don't think they would have allowed me inside, so I just took this photo.

Nearing exhaustion, we left the museum and took the scenic route home, passing a thing you might’ve heard of called the Eiffel Tower. 
tower paris
How many Eiffel pics can I get away with before you start to get annoyed?
I'm not sure what this building is, but it's environmental friendliness is all too seldom-seen. Let's have more.
Rostral column
Haha look at that silly tourist in the green
shirt and his map
tower france
Is this too many?
concorde plaza
Standing in the Concorde Plaza, I somehow I managed to get the fountain, Luxor Obelisk, Bourbon Palace, and the Church of the Invalids (with the golden dome) all in one picture. 
cheese and mustard
You know you like it
We stumbled into our lovely loaned apartment with aching feet but satisfied cultural whims, and had a faux-birthday aperitif of cantal cheese, whole grain mustard, vegetable chips, and champagne. I realize that this may seem to be an odd combination, but it’s my fake birthday, so I do what I want. And I suggest you do what I want, too.
And then we did the obligatory...the inescapable...the imperative! 

We dined in a Parisian restaurant. 

Our first night out to eat since that delicious experience nearly 2 months ago in Lyon.

But that story is for another day....

(update: Click here to read the review of La Cadole!)


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