Monday, April 30, 2012

Extra-value Day

The morning dawned bright and clear, although the forecast was for rain by evening. So we set out to do a couple of good-weather things.

Jardin des Plantes

The Jardin des Plantes, a complex operated by the national Museum of Natural History, is a big patch of green on the eastern edge of Paris, and one corner is only 600m from our front door, so we set out on foot about 9am.

The Jardin is mostly a big green space with various smaller gardens full of botanical samples—an Alpine garden, and so on. But there are also a couple of different museums and a zoo.

Overview of the Jardin, about noon when there are more people.

Ordinarily we don't do zoos, but the Menagerie here looked small and we had a bit of time to kill before we could go into the big greenhouses, so we went in. (Today I learned: this zoo was the second oldest in the world.) Quite enjoyed ourselves, seeing several things we'd never seen before.

Sechuan or Golden Takin, possible origin of the legend of the Golden Fleece

The Markhor is the national animal of Pakistan.

The Jardin has a couple of huge greenhouses with tropical plants. We went in one.

It was nicely arranged but didn't have anything we hadn't seen before. The desert selection did have a beaucarnia recurvata like the one in our living room. We always look for those. Ours is bigger than theirs. Yeah us.

Grabbed a sandwich, shot a last pic of some poppies, and headed on up the river.

Notre Dame

A mile up the river is Notre Dame de Paris. We took a few (dozen) pictures, kept an actual few. Here's a couple. These will reward click'n'thru.

From Square René Viviani, over used-book and schlock sellers on Quai de Montebello

South window with flowering chestnut tree.

Figures on the roof.

La Defense

So we are sitting on a bench beside Notre Dame, looking at the queue of several hundred people waiting to go inside (no exaggeration), having decided to come back at opening time to see the interior, and Marian says, "I don't feel like stopping, let's go to La Defense. We can take the #1 Metro two blocks away and be there in half an hour."

La Défense is a big development of offices and hotels due west of the center of Paris. Built mostly in the 80s and 90s, it has lots of radical buildings and public art, including...

...the Grande Arche. Yes, click for the big, big image.

From the center of the Grande Arche you can see the Arc de Triomphe, and vice versa.

There are more pics of animals, Notre Dame, and weird and oversized stuff at La Défense in The Gallery. It's getting pretty large, but remember, you can jump to the last page and work backward to see the latest. Just click the >> thing after the page number.

We'd put more in here but it's past 10pm and we're done.

Oh, that concert last night? Nice. Tell about that another time.

No comments:

Post a Comment