I fully intended to blog during my recent trip to France, but...I didn't! I've been back almost a week, and am still catching up.
This wasn't my first trip to Paris, but the first one where I wasn't there on business and only able to sight see a very tiny bit.
We stayed in the 5th arrondissement, across from the Fountaine Saint-Michel, which is a marvelous location for Notre Dame in particular, and many of the literary pilgrimage sites that were high on my list, and mere steps to a metro stop and taxi queue. It is, however, a bit like staying in Times Square in New York. Lots of people, lots of tourists, and lots of kitsch.
|My favorite view of Notre Dame Cathedral - love those flying buttresses!|
Loved the Musee d'Orsay -- not only the fantastic collection of most of my favorite paintings in one location, but the overall beauty of the space, which is a renovated train station, was breathtaking. It was light and bright with lots of levels and open spaces.
And, of course, it was full of Monets and Manets, Pisarros and Renoirs, Van Goghs and many others.
I particularly enjoyed the special exhibit on 19th polychrome sculpture, which I knew nothing about but found beautiful and so interesting.
We went in the morning, had lunch, and then went back for another round. Bordered on sensory overload, but what a wonderful place!
|I've loved this Renoir painting for decades! I had a poster of it in my college dorm room.|
|Cafe des 2 Moulins in Montmarte, where Amelie works in the movie, Amelie|
|We had coffee in this literary hangout that pre-dated the Lost Generation.|
|Two blocks from our hotel!|
It was quite hot while we were there--mercifully, I insisted on a hotel with air conditioning. I can't say that the food was fantastic--we mostly ate lightly--salads, charcuterie boards, and coffee and croissants--but that was fine as we didn't want to break the bank on food on this trip.
I was so glad that I did a lot of reading about Paris before the trip so I had a good sense of where things were and had a context for understanding the geography and history of the city.
Next up...Normandy (and a tiny slice of Brittany).