Old Medals and Stuff

My favorite piece in the museum was this elephant medal. I don't really remember where it was from, or who wore it, but given my odd affinity for elephants, I took about 100 photos of it.

In an effort to constantly discover new and different things here and Paris, yesterday my friend Shaun and I spontaneously decided to skip the Musee D’Orsay, which we had planned on touring, and instead went to its often-overlooked neighbor, le Musee de Legion d’Honneur et Ordre de Chevalerie (I think I got that right). On my first visit to the Musee D’Orsay, I noticed this petit musee while sitting on the steps waiting for my friend Courtney, and thought to myself that I should go there one day. I hadn’t thought much of it until Shaun and I noticed the long line at M’O, and instead opted for the free entrance and empty halls of the Musee de Legion d’Honneur. What a good choice we made.

One of the United States drawers, featuring a document signed by President Dwight D. Eisenhower

This museum, though small, houses an impressive collection of medals and decorations once worn by such French heroes as Napoleon Bonaparte and Charles de Gaulle. It also boasts an impressive collection of foreign medals, including several from the United States and Hawaii, and hundreds of other countries. I was impressed by the worldliness of the museum: there were decorations from even the smallest African countries (Rwanda, Tanzania), and beautiful pieces from the Middle East and Asia. If you are a history buff or, like me, you just enjoy looking at things that sparkle and shine, then I highly suggest this hidden gem. It’s a rather small museum, and can be toured in under an hour. My favorite part was that some of the stern-looking men who work there looked like they had stepped out of the paintings and begun working in the museum. Although they were strict about our bags, they were rather funny and joked with us when we gasped at some of the medals. Overall I really enjoyed this museum, and I am proud to say that I went to one of the lesser-known museums that Paris has to offer, and can recommend it to future visitors.

One of the "colliers" once worn by the French king. The pendants that hung from it kind of looked like Christmas ornaments.

More importantly, however, we discovered Paris’ Green Door. For those of you not from St. Mary’s College, the Green Door is our local watering hole that offers cheap drinks and, best of all, Pint Night on Thursdays. It’s a student favorite, and one of the few cool things that St. Mary’s County has to offer. Here in Paris, we have found The Hideout. It’s a bar in Le Marais that has 2,50 Euro pints all day on Thursdays, and seems to be a magnet for students and foreigners. Aah, I’m home.

In other, more grave, news, the dollar’s value has dropped even more, which I didn’t think was possible: it’s value against the Euro has fallen to $1.40, about ten cents lower than when I arrived. Bad news for this girl’s bank account, and even worse news for the United States as a whole. I wonder when the EU will begin their world-domination. Perhaps I’ll have to start considering a heist – I’m sure those medals I saw are worth millions…

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