We arrived in Paris on Friday, Jan. 3, and that whole day was kind of a bust. Many things during our five days in Paris were affected by the transport strike, which lasted from Dec. 5 to Jan. 29. We had to take a cab from the train station to our Airbnb in the 14th. The first thing on my list was Deyrolle (well, the first thing was food, which was pizza at Le Petit Chez Soi – very good), but after getting there in an Uber, I learned that they were closed that day for inventory. And on that Uber ride, the catacombs called Nathaniel’s dad and said they had to cancel our tour for that night (so many things were closing early or closed altogether because folks couldn’t get to work because of the strike!). So we walked to the Louvre, and went into a church, and walked to Ets Aurouze (pest control shop with dead rats hanging in the windows) and walked around Les Blancs Manteaux looking for some street art (I didn’t find it, but Nat’s parents found a bakery they remembered from their last trip to Paris) and walked to Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature, the Museum of Hunting and Nature, just to see it even though I knew it was closed for renovations. Sigh. So then we took an Uber back to our place! Photos from all that in another post, but I don’t have many anyway.
The next day, Nathaniel’s parents got a rental car and drove into the countryside to spend two nights away, and Nat and I walked to the natural history museum complex. I had done *a lot* of research on this place and the hours of each of the buildings there, and it was all for naught – only the Grande Galerie de l’Évolution was open because of the strike. I really wanted to see the Galerie de Paléontologie et d’Anatomie Comparée (paleontology and comparative anatomy) and the Grandes Serres du Jardin des Plantes (greenhouses), but it’s fine – the Gallery of Evolution took me several hours to get through anyway. We had lunch there, and then we walked back to our place and watched French TV until we went to bed.
I think it was on this day that the antibiotics I was taking were starting to make my stomach really upset, so I wasn’t having, like, the best time, but I was impressed by the museum. Like Naturalis, it had changing lights/colors and simulated storms, and all of the animals were individual specimens, together, in an open space. That openness is lovely. The building itself was really beautiful, too. I can’t believe I have finally been to this place!