Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Not Quite Autumn in Paris

I had a layover in Paris the last week in October. I was really tired, and the weather was cold and overcast.

I didn't want to do much, so I decided to walk through the grounds of Sainte Anne Hospital. This is a huge psychiatric hospital,  research facility, and teaching school.

The history of the place goes back to 1651, but the hospital was established in 1863 by an edict of Napoleon III.

The hospital offers 24 hour emergency psychiatric services, health care clinics for patients, and many services are available to assist patient's families.

Baron Haussmann was in charge of carrying out the design.   If you are really into history, you can read about the hospital at the first link.
You can read about Napoleon III, who was both the first titular president and the last monarch of France, at the second link.

Information about Baron Haussmann can be found at the third link.


The architecture is beautiful and the grounds are well landscaped.
There are statues and pieces of art throughout the grounds.

For some reason, the statue below is my favorite.  Somehow it just speaks to me. Hmmmmm?

There were beautiful walk ways and paths through the grounds,

and modern sculpture among the classic.

It was very peaceful walking through the gardens, but by now my feet were tired and my knees were aching.

I sat on a bench by this statue and drank  "un grande creme", strong coffee with cream, which I had carried with me.  I knew that, today, it wouldn't keep me awake.

I read a very interesting blog written by a woman who lives in Paris.
At one place in this post she tells you the difference between a "grande creme" and a "cafe au lait".  If you want to get a true feel of living in the city, check out her blog.


I decided to forgo seeing the chapel.

I stopped at the grocery store to pick up some pate and bread, for a light supper and some
rhubard yogurt for breakfast.

I settled down in my warm room and soon was sound asleep.  I'll be back in a week, and hope to be more rested. Sometimes, even when Paris is calling, you just have to listen to your body.

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