"car rapide" Bonne Mère located now in the Musée de l'Homme

Le Car Rapide at Musée de l’Homme

"car rapide" Bonne Mère located now in the Musée de l'Homme
“car rapide” Bonne Mère located now in the Musée de l’Homme

We are heading to Senegal in December. A restored version of the famous “car rapide” (Sengalese express bus) at the newly reopened Musée de l’Homme was a natural destination for our visual travel information. The “Bonne Mère” was waiting for us on the second floor.

We will have no problem recognizing the bus on the roads of Saint-Louis and Dakar.  The colorful paintings of popular art illustrate the country’s Islam and Animiste intertwined cultures. The “car rapides” are a Senegal symbol similar to London’s double decker and the Yellow cabs in New York. The name “Bonne Mère” pays hommage to the African woman considered the real source of all individual success. The last bus will probably be off the road by the end of 2018.

The Saviem SG2 and SG4 (Renault) bus usually carries 23 to 32 passengers. The museum’s bus holds at least 10 children and three adults comfortably. Makes me wonder where everyone sits in Saint-Louis and Dakar. Once inside the museum piece, you travel via videos around Saint-Louis and Dakar.

The Renovated Museum – views and visit
From various locations in the museum, you will be distracted by spectacular views of the Eiffel Tower, the landscape and the Seine. The Musée de l’Homme, located in one of the Palais de Chaillot wings with the Musée national de la Marine, reopened October 2015. The Cité de l’architecture et du patrimoine and the Théâtre National de Chaillot are located in the other wing. (Café Carlu is closed for renovation until Spring 2016.)

The museum pursues the questions “Who are we?, Where do we come from? and Where are we headed?” I’ll explore those areas another day. The museum has a café (Café Lucy) on the second level and a restaurant (Le Café de l’Homme) and is open late on Wednesday until 9 pm. Interior designers, Gilles & Bossier handled the renovations of Le Café de l’Homme that overlooks the Torcadéro gardens.

Most of the signage is in French. Follow the Musée de l’Homme’s information in English link. “Lire la suite” means “To read more”.

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Musée de l’Homme (for English-speaking visitors)
17 place du Trocadéro 75016
Hours: 10:00 am to 6:00 pm, late nights Wednesday until 9:00 pm.
Closed Tuesdays, 1 January, 1 May and 25 December.

Bus: Lines 22 & 32 Scheffer and Trocadéro stops.
Lines 30 & 63Trocadéro stop.
Line 72 Pont d’Iéna stop (short walk through the Trocadero gardens).

By Metro: Lines 6 & 9 stop at Trocadéro, exit at “Avenue Paul Doumer – Musée de l’Homme”.

By river shuttle: Batobus, Bateaux parisiens and Vedettes de Paris stop at the Eiffel Tower.