Day 5. Today was about museums a little off the beaten path. Just a little, mind you. After all, we’re still in Paris. Before we begin, though, check out this little display a few blocks from Jenn’s flat. As we are here longer, we’re having more and more fun with the signs; some of them are funny, others just plain interesting, like this one:
Anyway, today was “Sarah and Jenn’s weird museums” day. The two places we visited were unusual and awesome, and not your typical “stand in front of a painting and look contemplative” kind of places.
First, the Musée des Arts Forains (The Museum of Carnival Arts) in the Bercy area. This museum, which is apparently only open for a few weeks a year, happened to be open while we were here. They must have known we were coming. Sarah found it by literally searching for “weird stuff in Paris” which then got her to a blog called Cool Stuff in Paris, which led us there. What a riot. Absolutely awesome. To see pictures – go to the Cool Stuff blog – they are far better than mine could ever be. It was a big pavilion filled with costumes, statues, memorabilia, carnival games (that you can actually play) and a theater where we saw a marvelous “tissu” dancer. And real carnival rides – I tried to join in but had a musical chairs moment, so Sarah and Jenn rode and I watched. The beige and orange blur below is Jenn. Trust me. I know, it’s a terrible picture, but those who know Jenn can probably see her big smile even through the blur. Sarah is hanging on for dear life behind her.
The little courtyard outside offered food and sunshine, and we hung out there for a quite a while, making friends with the musicians, of course. Below, Sarah practices international diplomacy over an accordion.
We didn’t really want to leave, but leave we did, and headed to another bizarre and terrific museum called La musée de chasse et de la nature – Museum of Hunting and Nature – back in the Marais area. THIS recommendation came from Jenn, or from a friend of Jenn, who asked us to go in a facebook post (and you can also find info on it on the Cool Stuff blog – which gives more info than the actual website of the museum). Without going into to too much detail, suffice to say that the museum had a Dog Room:
a Bird Room, a Wolf/Stag Room and a Wild Boar room. All housed within some old, 18 or 19th century house with paintings and weird handrails and..well..it was cool.
And then there’s the trophy room.
This room contained every variation of stuffed creature you could think of, along with probably a hundred variations of the guns that could have killed said creatures. It was a little horrifying to my animal loving soul, to be honest, but it was also awesome in a weird way. But the absolute best part was the boar over the entrance. I just about leapt out of my skin when his eyes moved. Turns out the docent/museum monitor in the room can make the boar’s eyes and mouth move by remote. The kids in the room loved it, and so did we. It was a brilliant example of how a museum can be fun and not take itself too seriously. The whole museum was like that; it gave us chairs to sit on, drawers to open, stuff to touch, etc. My kind of place.
And then, back to Créperie Suzette for yummy crepes (one of them was set on fire – I’m not kidding) and then to the flat to pack for the beginning of stage two of our adventure – you know, the one where we never sleep in the same bed twice for 8 days or so. Bring it!