Bonnieux – part of the Luberon Golden Triangle.

Bastide les Amis in the wintry light. Home, sweet, home.

The Ralph Lauren flagship store in Saint Germain.

On the Quay d’Orsay, the smallest house in Paris squeezed between to much larger structures. Wonder who lives there?

Deep in the 16th Arrondissement, lies the main store for La Bon Marche, a famous department store. Like others in the retail category, Bon Marche is struggling to keep up with the boutiques and amazon.

However, one department where there is still no compromise is the Food Hal. Unlike Galeries Lafayette where they have thrown in the towel and sub-contracted to Carrefour supermarket chain, Bon Marche still have their hands on the food pulse under the descriptive of “The premier grocers of Paris”.

Miniature vegetables to please a Michelin chef.

Exotic fruits from around the world.

More fruits.

In the Saint Germain antique heaven – through the window of the antique shop. Sheer craftsmanship.

From poverty to the opulent, inside a courtyard.

This brilliantly evocative photograph epitomises what is so prevalent in Paris – homeless people and refugees.

We are still haunted yb the image of a young man who sat next door to us in the Notre Dame, obviously a refugee, poorly dressed who gripped a roasy in his fingers and was in a state of distress during the time he was there. Our hearts went out to him.

En route to Rodin.

 

Our fifth day was fortunately clear and cold, ideal for walking.

We had a little business to do at the Australian Embassy and then struck out for the Musee Rodin, right next to the Musee des Armee and a 5 minute walk from the Eiffel Tower.

Musee de Armée.

The front of the Rodin Museum.

What a revelation! Rodin lived about 30 minutes outside of Paris in Villa des Brilliants in the south-western suburb of Meudon (a 20-min RER train trip), but then in latter years, rented and then bought an old manor house as a haven for  like-minded artists and sculptors – the Hotel Biron. It is this museum that he donated to the French state and it has been turned into a magnificent tribute to Rodin.

No prizes for guessing – the Thinker.

One of the Bourgeois of Calais.

Tow children – we have a derivative of this in the Bastide’s garden.

Kissing couple.

Part of the room – 1900 The Glory Years.

Apart from the beautiful building, the gardens are sculpted to an inch of their lives and there are many of Rodin’s sculptures in the gardens. The exhibits trace his early works and they give full showing to his so-called ‘glory years’ of the early 1900s.

Rodin’s Museum from the gardens at the back.

The Gates of Hell.

The Bourgeois of Calais, ready for the hangman.

 

After this injection of culture, we hit the pavements again and tracked across Paris from the left bank of the Seine to the right bank, via a quick turn on the Isle de Seine, home of the Notre Dame and other beautiful buildings, as the shadows lengthened. We entered the Rue de Rivoli from the Marais end and explored its entire length with a mission to end up at the Jean Patou fragrance store – sadly, it was still closed but was due to open the next day, which gave us time to do all important fragrance purchases.

The Hotel Costes rose shop.

The famous fabric Christmas Tree in Hotel Costes.

After the Rue de Rivoli we looped into the Rue Saint Honore to view the fabric Christmas tree at Hotel Costes. The tree was everything we had hoped it would be but on sitting down in the bar for a quick pre-dinner drink, the thought of 18€ for a glass of house rosé and 19€ for a small beer frightened us off!

Paris street scenes.

A festive mood.

If you’re mixing with such monied folk as we were in Hotel Costes, why not do it properly and stroll over to Place Vendome, the home of the newly restored Ritz Hotel and headquarters of the luxury brands of the world. We walked into the Ritz as though we belonged and heased for the Galleria – this is a long passage of window displays of all the major brands and couture in the world; tiny cards let you know that whaever you want, they will arrive into your hotel room and allow you to try on, touch, feel without the drudge of going into the store or – heaven forbid – using a public changing room.

STOP PRESS: since writing this article, the Galleria was burgled on Wednesday 10th January, taking 2.5m€ of jewellery from one shop alone. Five thieves were responsible and two are still at large. 

Place Vendome – money, money.

Time to ocme down to earth. Around the corner is the Marche de Saint Honore, home of our favourite Fuxia – we dined there again, satisfied and happy.

We had a drink next to these characters. The one smoking a cigarette claimed to have worked with Yves Saint Laurent. Seems that they came for a pre-dinner aperitif (red wine and pastis) and then took the ’round  table’ inside for their dinner.

Another look at the Health App – cumulatively we were at 65km! No wonder sleep came easily.

 

 

Street art in Rue de Rivoli

Day 5 in Paris … coming soon!

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