My Travel Blog

Galeries Lafayette | A Day of Retail Therapy, Paris Style

After getting booted from our mooring in the center of Paris we hightailed it down the Seine with our tail between our legs.  Just outside the city limits we managed to find another mooring.  The good news was that it was just two blocks from a Metro station.  We literally parked in front of a very fine restaurant Cap Seguin, and ended up having a delightful dinner with Lisa’s brother and sister-in-law along with their friends. I always get a kick out of dining in a restaurant with a view of my boat.

“Dinner at Cap Seguin.”


“More YUMMY.”

“Lots more YUMMY.”

Securely ensconced at our new mooring the center of Paris was just a twenty-minute subway ride. It was time to do some more exploring. Unfortunately Lisa had a small list of essentials that we couldn’t survive without.  There were only a couple of thousand items, so our day was dedicated to her favorite pastime retail therapy. I thought I would tell you that the department store was invented in Paris, and that Le Bon Marche designed by Gustav Eiffel was the first when it opened in 1852.  Based on my research the honor of first department store actually goes to Bainbridges’s in England.  It opened in 1838.

We ended up shopping at the incredible Galeries Lafayette. Theophile Bader and his cousin Alphonse Kahn opened a small clothing store in 1895.  A few years later they purchased the property where the current store is located, and oh what a store it is.  The magnificent 10-story structure with the Art Nouveau interior and stained glass dome was completed in 1912.  Even if you don’t need a semi-truck full of essentials I highly recommend a visit to this unique emporium.

“The glass dome at Galeries Lafayette.”

“Galeries Lafayette.”

“The Paris Opera House from the roof of the Galeries Lafayette. Can you find the guy with the mask covering half his face?”

The following morning we were flying to Spain to celebrate Lisa’s big birthday, so we decided to go out for dinner.  Our friends recommended a seafood restaurant in the heart of Paris that served fresh oysters and mussels.  We didn’t have any problem finding the place.  There were at least a dozen large baskets filled with oysters just outside the front door.  The place was packed with mostly Parisians so we figured we were in for a real treat.  I ordered a nice white wine to go with our first order of oysters.  A dozen of those little snots were brought out on ice and we dug in.  They smelled incredibly fresh and were tasty and sweet the way they’re supposed to be.  Our next course was calamari.  By the time we were half way through the second course I was starting to feel a little uncomfortable.  By the time were almost done I was sick to my stomach, and announced that we had to leave.  When I say we had to leave, I mean we really had to leave. What was I going to do?  The following morning we were getting on a plane and heading to Spain.

“Looking across the Seine from our new mooring.”

“A view from our kitchen window.”


-Tom Miller
Author of “The Wave” – 
a Chuck Palmer Adventure novel


About the Author:

Tom Miller graduated from the University of Southern California with a Bachelor of Science in Geology. He is a consummate adventurer with over 1,000 dives as a recreational scuba diver, and an avid sailor who has traveled 65,000 miles throughout the Pacific including the Hawaiian Islands. Miller has also cruised the canals of Europe on his canal barge and given numerous lectures on cruising the canals of Europe, as well as sailing in the South Pacific. Piloting is also an interest of Miller's, and He has completed over 1,000 hours flying everything from small Cessnas to Lear jets.