November 6, 2007

Sore Feet Saturday

Posted in Visitors tagged , , , , , , at 2:39 pm by Lauren

Technically, most any Saturday with us is going to be eligible for that moniker. But, if there’s one thing Elizabeth and I learned to do while in Montpellier, it’s walk.

We set out first for the Musee Rodin, famous for its feature in a snapshot of Jenna balancing on a stone wall with one leg out behind her. Or maybe famous instead for its collected works of Auguste Rodin, including several iterations of The Thinker. What I particularly love about the Musee Rodin is not the sculptures inside the main building’s walls, but the garden that surrounds the house. I will come right out and tell you that I am not a museum girl. After I’d been five weeks in the city that boasts the Louvre and the Musee D’Orsay among many others, the Musee Rodin was the first museum to feel my footfall. While I enjoy art, I enjoy it in more of a “let it soak over you and let your eyes wander as the lines in the room take them” kind of way. So did I closely study Rodin’s sculpted lines? No. But I did enjoy wandering through the ancient building, admiring occasionally the lifelike look of a hand or a lock of hair on one of Rodin’s sculptures and staring overlong at the architectural features of the rooms. But the garden! The Musee Rodin has a tall wall around it, with few windows upon the inner world, but it hides a peaceful garden that travelers can access for just 1 euro. (The museum and garden together cost 6 euros.) In the garden you’ll find couples and families and artists sketching the scattered sculptures. The nominal fee to see the garden gives access to The Thinker, among several other Rodin statues whose names I don’t remember, and the impressive gates of Hell. The grounds are small enough to seem intimate but expansive enough to seem spacious and uncrowded even with others around.

Unfortunately, the museum inside was a bit crowded, and Elizabeth and I moved on after less than two hours. Next stop: Lush. (I’m hiding a guilty grin behind my laptop here.) We cut down to Boulevard Saint Germain, and followed it back into the 6th arrondissement to the Lush shop just off the main road. We were delighted to find that the Christmas items had arrived! I replenished my stock of Coalface (my facial soap) and treated myself to a Holiday bubble bar, which smells like American Cream (delicious sweet vanilla!) and which I’ve been crumbling bit by bit to use as soap. I talked myself out of buying a Sleepyhead massage bar (the smell helps me sleep, but the massage oil melts into my sheets) and any other soaps or shower gels. Sadly for everyone who has to sit in a room with me at night (ahem, Allen), I forgot to look at powder deodorants for my shoes. Elizabeth stocked up on quite a few things as well and was pleased to find the total came out to much less than she would have expected it to. (We suspect Lush actually costs less in Europe.) Finally, we flitted out of the shop (you have to flit), and went in search of food.

 Nourishment came in the form of warm sandwiches. I enjoyed a panini with chicken, swiss cheese, mushrooms, and some tomato-based sauce, while Elizabeth ate a warm baguette sandwich with sausage and cheese. The guy at the cash register asked us where our beautiful accents were from. (Elizabeth would smack me if I said it is because he was flirting with her, but…) I said, “American.” I should actually listen to people speak so that I can give appropriate responses, rather than things-that-make-sense-but-sound-more-foreign.

After our late lunch, Elizabeth was in the mood to sit and drink a coffee. We decided to go back to Ile St. Louis and rescue Allen from his work and force him to come drink a coffee with us. I led the group to Berthillon, knowing they had a salon where we could get an espresso and – oh, you caught me – some pear sorbet. But Berthillon’s salon looked really full, and thus began the Great Search for Coffee that went on for about a mile and a half and ended in our return to Berthillon to find that it wasn’t all that full. I felt bad for carting Elizabeth all over town when all she’d wanted was a sip of coffee after lunch (two hours later, literally). Fortunately it turned out to be our only chance to enjoy a Berthillon ice cream during her trip, as they closed for vacation a couple days later.

Before I wrap this up, I know you are wondering what type of ice cream we had. Allen actually had a cheesecake covered with raspberry coulis. I enjoyed two scoops of ice cream, pear sorbet and peach sorbet. Elizabeth had a rich, creamy scoop of caramel au beurre sale (caramel with salted butter). And of course, she got her coffee, after our 7.2 mile walk.

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