July 16 – Farewell to Paris

July 16 Le RubisWe spent our last day in Paris in much the same way as our first day–walking all over the city, under beautiful blue skies and hot weather.

Our first stop was the Marmottan Monet Museum, a museum housing perhaps 100 impressionist paintings in private home of a great art collector (and personal friend of Monet). This museum contains some of Monet’s most famous works, including the Rouen Cathedral and several paintings of lilies done at Giverny. We enjoyed the opportunity to have an extended stay in Paris, which permitted us to see museums like the Marmottan, which is off the beaten track but well worth the visit.

Next, we made our way to the Montmartre neighborhood, where the Sacre Coeur and dozens of artists reside. From this neighborhood, historically the cheapest neighborhood in the city (hence the artists), we made our way to the most affluent part of Paris, the Place de la Vendome. On a hot tip from Laura Rogers, we sought Le Rubis, a wine cafe, with instructions to order a glass of chiroubles, a rustic red wine served chilled, and a plat du fromage. We had general directions to Le Rubis, but needed to ask directions at the Ritz, which sent us about a block and a half to the east, up the Rue St. Honore. (The Ritz sits right in the Place de la Vendome, perhaps the most expensive real estate in Paris, a stone’s throw {if you are John Elway, anyway} from the Louvre and the Jardins Tuileries. The Rue St. Honore is lined with stores like Rolex, Chanel, Pierre Cardin, Louis Vuitton, etc. You get the idea.)

We did not know what to expect–we thought perhaps this would be a cafe just like the bar at the Ritz, and were prepared for a splurge. Instead, we found an old-school wine bar, with a fantastic (and very modestly-priced) selection of wines and other drinks. Our plat du fromage consisted of perhaps a dozen small slices of bread with a variety of common, but very delicious, cheeses. In short, our quest was rewarded in an unexpected way–instead of landing in the lap of luxury, we landed in the authentic, and perhaps endangered, Paris of days gone by. Thanks for the hot tip, Laura!

As a footnote (so to speak), we couldn’t help but snap a picture of the toilette at Le Rubis.July 16 Le Rubis toilette

Talk about old school! This commode was tucked behind a small room containing the sink (for washing your hands) and the phone, complete with phone books (evidently for calling your stock broker).

The kids were amazed to see such a strange device; I was amazed that this was the first put-your-feet-here toilets. I’m afraid this might be the first of many. And I am quite sure that some of them will be nowhere as clean as this one.

So we bid Paris adieu, and Paris returns the favor with a glimpse of our future. Merci.

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One response to “July 16 – Farewell to Paris

  1. One of my favorite memories of your (Dan’s) father’s and my first trip to Europe in 1966 was his remarking about a newspaper lying on a table at the airport in Rome, “What are the Italians doing leaving their toilet paper lying around in the airport?” 🙂

    I doubt if any of the Europeans are still using newspaper for toilet paper; however, that memory sprang to mind when I saw your lovely photo of the very clean put-your-feet-here toilet. I look forward to seeing photos of more of them as you head towards Africa and India. (Perhaps it will look more like a bush to squat behind than anything so elegant as this.)

    Thanks for all the wonderful memories you’ve provided for all of us while in Paris. Margaret wrote me today and said how much she’s loving your blog and feels like she knows you better as a consequence. I’m sure the same can be said by many of your “followers.”

    I can’t wait to see where you’ll be taking us next!

    Big hugs and much love, M – 3

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