Autumn Leaves

A sunny weekend crowd in the Latin Quarter

It was a perfect day in the  Latin Quarter, with students, tourists and locals basking in the autumn sunshine.  Cafe terraces were brimming and gelato sales were up.  The Experienced Travellers headed for the Luxembourg Gardens to relax, but since we were in the neighborhood,  a visit to The Great Ones Of France at the Pantheon seemed in order.

The Great Ones of France are buried in the Pantheon crypt

The 8 euro entry fee was waived for both of us since Nurse had her hotwheels and I was her escort.  Since we were prepared to pay, this is 16 euros of “found money” that we can use later!

The Pantheon was a church dedicated to Genevieve, the resourceful 5th century patron Saint of Paris, who vanquished Atilla the Hun through prayer.  Since the French Revolution, it is a mausoleum for the great and noteworthy of France, like Voltaire, Rousseau, Hugo, Zola, Pasteur and the Curies. 

In the Pantheon, Foucault's Pendulum demonstrates the rotation of the earth.

You’ll have to ask Nurse to explain the pendulum,  as she is the scientific mind of the tourgroup.  I thought it was a pretty little lead ball that swings.

Back to esteemed Saints.  The walls are decorated with heroic scenes from the life of St. Genevieve, but don’t look for her in the crypt.  She’s next door at Saint-Étienne-du-Mont. Go figure.

There are also scenes depicting the life of St. Jeanne d’Arc.  I enthusiastically asked a guard where in the Pantheon she is buried.   He looked stunned, and reminded me that she was burned at the stake.  My official excuse for this gaffe is overindulgence in wine, food and sun.  I have nothing else to say on the subject. 

The Lux - the perfect weekend venue

It was clearly time to move to more secular territory – window shopping and the nearby Luxembourg Gardens.  Tout-Paris had the same idea, but that’s what makes this such an enjoyable place to relax and people-watch.

Children float boats in the fountain

A casual-socks kind of day

After a welcome rest, we took the #82 bus home.  The bus system is our new best friend.  We were carrying the hotwheels down the metro steps, and performing a commuter ballet hoisting it over my head through the ticket turnstiles.  Believe me, the busses are the ticket. 

It was scallops for dinner, and Chef Nurse did a supreme job.  The pink part is delicious.

A Michelin star for Nurse!

After dinner, we were compelled to take our found money to the cafe to enjoy the warm autumn evening and a baba au rhum.

Baba au rhum, liberally doused

It was a relaxing day for the ETs, who want to know why life can’t be like this all the time.

The ETs are feet-first in the Luxembourg


8 Responses to “Autumn Leaves”

  1. Victor Says:

    Ahhhh….Foucault’s Pendulum. I can explain that…..just give me a minute.

  2. Stephen Says:

    I thought the purpose of Foucault’s pendulum was to demonstrate that at least the Earth, and probably the Sun and entire Universe all rotate around Paris.

    This is analagous to the length of one Metre being one Gagillionth of the diameter of the Earth, measured – of course – through Paris!

    But, giving credit where it’s due, they certainly know how to eat, drink and LIVE in Paris – as Julie reminds us so beautifully 🙂

    • Julie Says:

      Stephen you are certainly in a scientific frame of mind for a Sunday! Your theory must be correct. I’m sure Foucault had a health dose of La Gloire, else he wouldn’t have his science project amidst the tombs of the Immortals. Maybe it was such a sacreligious theory that St. Genevieve up and moved next door.

    • Ann Mason Says:

      But Stephen, I saw it first in LA. How do you explain that?

  3. Robette Says:

    Another great story and I learned enough about French legends and history to answer at least 2 questions on Jeopardy. However my fav phrase is the “commuter ballet” at the turnstiles. I can just visualize it!
    I think Stephen is right about Paris being the center of the universe but who knew there was a pendulum that proved it?

  4. Ann Mason Says:

    Boxes clicked

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