Paris is home to some totally cool catacombs which we were anxious to see. However, after 90 minutes in line, we realized that we still had several hours of waiting ahead of us. Emma played in a nearby park until we decided to give up on the catacombs.
These are just a few shots I took near the catacombs.
We decided to head towards the Palais du Luxembourg. "Now the home of the French Senate, this palace was designed by Salomon de Brosse in the style of Florence's Pitti Palace to remind Marie de Medicis, widow of Henry IV, of her native town. By the time it was finished (1631), Marie had been banished, but it remained a royal palace until the Revolution, when it temporarily served as a prison. In World War II it was the headquarters of the Luftwaffe with air-raid shelters built under its gardens." (DK Eyewitness Travel: Paris page 172.) Part of this palace is now an art museum, which we did not visit. Perhaps we will next time.
We did, however, linger in one of its gardens, the Jardin du Luxembourg. Supposedly this is the most popular park in Paris. It's huge, too: over 60 acres. I've got to say that the parks in Paris totally put the parks in the U.S. to shame. These parks are not only breathtakingly beautiful, but they are immaculate down to the tiniest details. We literally could have spent the entire day just enjoying this serene setting.
The octagonal pool is the park's highlight. Emma was thrilled by the duck families living in the pool.
She was also intrigued by the sailboats. It looked like great fun to me~I still have a little girl hidden inside of me and she really wanted to sail a boat. :) So we rented one for a few euros. (I love this photo because I got to crop my rear off, ha ha! Sure wish I could do that in real life.)
I think this is Emma's favorite photo because it captures her sailboat and a duck.
Yay, another "crop my rear off" opportunity. LOL
Oh looky: two more photos leaning to the right. :) The setting for these was Jardin du Luxembourg Fontaine Medicis, a fountain built for the same woman for whom the Palais du Luxembourg was built.
Emma was delighted, of course, to find pigeons near this fountain.
Then we decided to explore Paris' Latin Quarter, which lies between the Palais du Luxembourg and the Seine. It is described as being "Bohemian" in nature, and as I came across this the description seemed appropriate. You know me and my thing about public bathrooms. So imagine the depth of my delight when I saw this, one of many such bathrooms along the streets in Paris. It's coin operated (I still wasn't over my previous experience with a coin operated bathroom, ha ha). Here's the scoop: it's a self-cleaning bathroom. After an occupant exits, apparently it sprays and disinfects the interior before the next occupant can enter. Keaton has used one and said it's pretty clean. Yeah, I'm so not sold, though I didn't use one. I was rather intimidated by the long line waiting to use it. I mean, it's bad enough to occupy a stall in a ladies room for any length of time longer than a few minutes, especially when there's a line. Can you imagine holding up the line along a public sidewalk? EVERYONE would know how long you'd been there! If it's really as wonderful as it sounds, maybe I can get a few for my house. It would be worth ALL of the coins in the world to NEVER clean a toilet again! Next time we're in Paris, I think I'll send Rick in to scope one out for me. (Yes, he's sweet enough to willingly be my guinea pig!)
Anyway, on to the Latin Quarter.
The Fontaine St-Michel depicts the slaying of the dragon by Saint Michael.
Just past the Fontaine St-Michel, we came across this street performer. Emma squealed!
Our next stop was Sainte-Chapelle, which I absolutely loved. That's on tap for my next post. Au revoir!