Now that my days in France are numbered, I’m making every effort to travel and take advantage of the close proximity of so many wonderful cities and countries. At the end of May I booked a train ticket to Paris and had the added bonus of seeing and staying with some friends who moved there from Portland less than one year ago. I took a 05h00 train from Annecy that got into Paris at 09h15. It’s not a direct route, otherwise it’d be a 3 hour train ride. It’s not bad though, in the context of “hey, I can take a train to Paris!” My plan was to have the full day in the city, spend one night, then take the 18h00 (I think that was it) train home the next day. That would give me two full days! The only “must see” on my list was to go to the Jeanne Lanvin retrospective exhibition at the Palais Galliera.
The Lanvin show was exceptional; so inspiring! Photos were not allowed but I snuck one in. The amount of detail and craftsmanship was incredible and a lot of the pieces still look so modern. Another highlight of the trip was not having any French food, haha. For lunch Jane and I had Vietnamese food then dinner was Korean. Lunch the next day was Mexican! All very good. Add in some exploring around Montmartre and day 1 was huge success and I was ready for bed.
On day 2 Jane and I went to Jardin des Plantes on the recommendation of her friend who had just been there. He showed us one photo on his phone and we were hooked. I had not been to this part of Paris before. There is a small zoo here, a botanical garden, a natural history museum, and this one place that we made the trip out there for: http://www.mnhn.fr/fr/visitez/lieux/galeries-anatomie-comparee-paleontologie, the Galeries d’Anatomie Comparée et de Paléontologie. It’s incredible!! An enormous 3-floor collection of skeletons and fossils. The first floor was modern era animals, everything from birds to primates to whales. The 2nd floor was dinosaurs and other mammals with huge antlers, teeth, or tusks. The 3rd floor was fossils, ancient arthropods, and that type of stuff, but by then we were burnt out from spending so much time on the first two floors. I took a ton of photos. It was a treasure trove of inspiration. We had such close, intimate access to the skeletons, many of which had old, hand-calligraphed labels. There were not many visitors there, which was nice. I highly recommend this museum if you go to Paris. I’m looking forward to going back and visiting the other museums in the area!