I’d not been back to the Rodin Museum in many years. The last two times I’d been in Paris it had been undergoing renovation. With the museum finally being fully reopened, I was eager to revisit. We arrived just before the gate opened along with a crowd, mainly of groups. There is a modern building to house the ticket desk and a special exhibit facility, and then you cross the courtyard to the museum housed in Rodin’s former home and studio. The building has been meticulously renovated, and on the ground floor is a little nook where you can see an interesting video detailing the huge undertaking. All that gorgeous parquet flooring underfoot is new, there is new exhibit space, room for Rodin’s working models in terracotta and plaster, his large collection of antiquities, and works by Camille Caudel and friends. It’s fabulous, and should be for 46 million.
The museum did not feel crowded at all, probably because it now has 18 rooms, a and most people were going through very quickly. We ended with a walk through the gorgeous gardens.
For lunch we walked around Invalides with the view of the Tower into the 7th, a neighborhood we’d stayed in a number of years ago. I’d heard of Bistrot Belhara , a small (but aren’t they all?) restaurant with good food. We had an excellent lunch, staring by sharing an appetizer of a large spinach ravioli, topped by a piece of fresh mackerel and a rich broth poured over with a flourish by the waiter. Inventive and delicious, and I usually don’t care for mackerel. Larry went on to a little casserole of long-stewed pork with vegetables and sinful mashed potatoes, and I had perfectly cooked fish and squid on squid ink risotto. Two nice glasses of wine, and we were too full for dessert. Great place, I’d go again. Bistrot Belhara
From there, we walked a long way along the Seine, another familiar Paris ritual, enjoying the breaking of the clouds and brief glimmers of sun. I’d forgotten how uncomfortable walking on these uneven cobblestones can get! Part of the riverfront is being renovated, the retaining walls getting a structural facelift from the looks of things. The houseboats always looked like an interesting place to live.
Back in the 14th, we walked down rue Daguerre to get a few things for dinner, had a drink in a cafe, and then home.
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You can extend your Rodin experience when you get home…I think there is an exhibit at the Peabody Essex Museum.