There is no time limit when describing a visit, even a short visit, to Paris. Ashleigh and I spent the last day of our six week European junket in Paris. We started our adventure in Paris in early April; we decided that we would end in the City of Lights also. But on a day in late May ….with all the possible exciting things to do in Paris, how does one select what to do when you only have eleven hours. We started by dropping our bags at our hotel and, headed on foot, for a quick visit to the Eiffel Tower. We found that late spring agrees with the tower and its friends.
On the way to our next stop, we paused at an unfamiliar restaurant for lunch.
We took a chance, got lucky, and were rewarded with good food at a fair price.
No time to linger. A little more walking got us to the Musee Rodin. The museum is located in an 18th century hotel and is home to a great many of Rodin’s works. In fact, it is chock full of Rodin’s pieces as it seems that this artist kept just about everything he every made. You can see a lot and learn a lot, too. I was unaware that Rodin was a painter as well as a sculptor. Here are some examples of his paintings.
You can almost see how the paintings helped Rodin understand the human form. Here you can see a painting and a sculpture side by side.
But the galleries do not disappoint in giving visitors what they expect to see from Rodin. Visitors are greeted by this piece at the entrance and then are treated to room upon room of Rodin’s works.
Like this bust and
this glorious composition.
Magnificent, lush gardens surround the museum,
and these gardens are full of castings of Rodin’s works.
From sculpture to music…..next stop, The Palais Garnier….or as it is more commonly know, The Paris Opera House.
Napoleon III commissioned this grand music hall. Construction started in 1861 and finished in 1875. There are 1, 979 seats in the house.
The bold decorative design is continued in the ceilings,
in the marble staircases,
and in the foyers that are reminiscent of the Versailles Hall of Mirrors.
You can walk to almost anyplace in Paris, so next stop, the dramatic courtyard of the Louvre.
No shortage of drama here. Visiting the courtyard alone is worth the walk to the Louvre.
Good weather lures the people of Paris outside; many use the courtyard as an after work shortcut home,
and some lucky visitors simply sit and enjoy.
Everyone fits right in, especially Ashleigh Henry.
Only the lateness of the hour could pull us away from this amazing place.
Sunset in the courtyard means we have to move along to our next stop.
The Musee d’Orsay stays open late on Thursday evenings, till 9:45pm. The actual building of the museum has an interesting history. The building began its life as a railway station, the Gare d’Orsay. The station was built to bring visitors to the 1900 World’s Fair.
The museum, itself, is a wonderful space, and the window views from the upper floors are so spectacular. Take a peek.
You can almost walk inside the station clock.
Currently, this former train station is the home of mainly French art dating from 1848-1914 and has the largest collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist masterpieces in the world. So, you can see Monets, Cezannes, Van Goghs, Manets, Gaugins, and Renoirs. Here are a few of my favorites. This is Monet’s Blue Water Lilies.
This is a Cezanne still life.
For a while, the d’Orsay is hosting an exciting exhibit titled Le Modele Noir. This important exhibit gives the visitor a perspective on the importance of black models on modern art. Here are some pieces that caught my attention. This antique doll is a representation of Josephine Baker, a popular African American performer who was a “hit” in Paris.
This Cezanne is titled Le Negre Scipion. It was painted in 1867.
Le Musee d’Orsay has become my favorite museum in Paris. It has so much to offer, including a beautiful salute to the end of the day.
This day in Paris could only end with a visit to a sick friend, and so, we headed toward Notre Dame. The walk was challenging, but we made it before the sun was totally down. Visitors are not allowed near the cathedral, but the scaffolding can be seen from across the Seine River and…..
…..around the back side of the church.
People are still congregating and talking about the fire.
This is a national sadness, but it looks like the patient is going to recover quickly.
In the meantime, Paris is still vibrant and lively, making this day in latebMay a perfect way for me to exit France. So long, Paris….Bisous Bisous….The Unseasoned Traveler.