Saturday, May 19, 2007

Paris Day 4

Today I ditched the parents and did some major hoofing it around town.

I walked along the left bank of Le Seine to the Musee d'Orsay. There was a huge long queue so it was close enough to lunch time so I wandered along some side streets until I found a bakery and grabbed a roast chicken baguette (mmmmm) and some mineral water. I took my lunch back to the Musee and sat outside in the sun and people watched.

Once done it was time to queue. It was a long line but moved very quickly. Through the major security check-in, grab a map and I'm in. Hmmm, where to start. There is a temporary exhibit of some photo's from the 1800's, 2 of which are pics of Vancouver's Stanley Park (how nice). The Museum is housed in a converted train station built in 1900. Here's a piece of trivia. The station was also used as a location for Orson Welles' film The Trial. In the mid 70's the station was considered for demolition but in 1977 the Paris authorities decided to save it and converted it into a museum (good choice).

The museum's collection covers art from 1848 to 1914. There's Van Gough, Degas, Monet, Manet, Munch, Renoir, Matisse, Toulouse-Lautrec, Gauguin, Klimt, Whistler, Rodin, Pissarro, Sisley and a bunch of other guys and girls. Now looking at those names I'm sure various paintings come to mind, but here are a few you may not have seen..

Van Gough's L'Eglise d'Auvers-sur-Oise, vue du chevet, 1890

Edvard Munch's Nuit d'ete a Aasgaardstrand, 1904
- and you thought he was a tormented soul with The Scream

Claude Monet's Les dindons, 1877
- I know everyone talks about the Water Lilies, but come on - give The Turkeys some respect

Once I'm done with the museum I am off to find the Eiffel Tower. I've got my map so I know where I'm going (sort of). On the way I pass a number of picture worthy things like the Pont Alexandre III and Hotel des Invalides but I'm focused. As I get close to the goal I zip into a bakery and pick up an Almond Croissant but I don't eat it yet.

There it is, in all it's cast iron glory. I have absolutely no desire to get into a long queue and pay a fee to ride up the elevator. Just being her and seeing it is enough. The sun comes out and I sit on a bench in the park and enjoy my croissant.

So been there, done that now time for the long walk back to the apartment. It takes about an hour and a half but I take a different route and found myself on Embassy row and pass the embassy's for Romania, Korea and a few other's I can't remember.

I walk in the door and my feet really hurt. But feel like I've had a very fulfilling day packed with as much as I could see.

Our last night in town we found a restaurant along La Seine down from the Notre-Dame. A fitting end to the trip.