Sunday, 20 May: This was our last day in Paris. We visited the Musee Nissim de Camondo near Parc Monceau. What a beautiful area in the 8th! The mansion was incredible, so full of treasures, so comfortable and well designed. Niece and I would move in tomorrow (but who wouldn’t?!). We used the audio guide to tour all the rooms and were impressed at the collection amassed by Conte Camondo for his children, neither of whom lived to enjoy it: son Nissim died in WWI and daughter Beatrice, her husband and kids were sent to Auschwitz and not heard from again.
Afterwards we grabbed the Metro to Opera Garnier. Wow, what a beautiful building! We were unfortunately unable to tour it due to a ballet performance (I had checked online the night before for closures but it wasn’t listed, bummer). We also couldn’t shop at the Galleries Lafayette or Printempts because of it being a Sunday. Those of you who like to shop probably already know that stores in Paris close on Sundays, but I had no idea. So we had a quick lunch and grabbed the Metro to St. Denis to see the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Denis.
|This would be the entrance for visitors|
|It's spectacular on the outside|
After a café break on the square overlooking St. Denis and the frolicking kids playing football, we toured this magnificent Basilica. It was Notre Dame (smaller, yes) without the hordes of people. So beautiful, so peaceful. We paid our fee to see the Royal Necropolis containing tombs of pretty much all the kings and queens of France including Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI, various princess and princesses, and other notables. Very impressive but I wished for more explanations in English. Rick Steves does not have this Basilica in his book so I thank the good folks on the fodors.com France forum for recommending it. We all thought it was a very worthwhile excursion.
|It was a crowd free Notre Dame|
|Louis the XVI and Marie Antoinette are buried here|
|Very rare metal tombs for baby princes|
Back to the apartment to pack up and get ready for departure the next day. Our G7 taxi was scheduled to pick us up at 7am. I went to bed after the 1am Eiffel Tower sparkle show grateful that we could share this wonderful city with our niece. And certain that hubby and I would be back before too long; after all, Paris is my favorite big city in Europe!