08.08.2010 - 08.08.2010 23 °C
Had a wonderful and restful sleep. I woke up and forgot where I was. I know, how could one possibly forget they were in Paris. It was actually just seconds, and I am still feeling a lot of "You are really here, it's a dream come true."
I had a really good stretch as my right side was quite sore. Probably a combination of walking too much and with flip flops no less.
Woke up to my alarm at 8:30 am and I could have probably slept another couple of hours but I had too much to see and so little time. Around 9:00 am Margy called and we had a giddy and gigglely chit chat. I would see her tomorrow sometime after I get back from my Cityrama Tour which leaves from Rues de Pyramides.
Got myself organized with snacks, another Larabar, Cliff bar and a bottle of Vitamin water. In the end I just bought another yummy baguette, this time Poulet from the stand at the Musée d'Orsay.
Had a nice breakfast at the hotel which is included as part of my stay. More than enough choices and unlimited. I had fresh yogurt and it was thick and very fresh. No additives in this. I had it with some granola. I had the toast which is like real toast but smaller and not as dried out as melba toast. Peach jam, a glass of orange juice and two cups of tea. Also had a mini croissant and a pain de chocolat. Good filling breakfast to start the day off right.
Did a little research on the internet as I wanted to see the Musée d'Orsay today. I just wasn't sure about the museum pass. I kept toggling between yes or no and then how many days should I buy for was the other dilemma.
Anyways left the hotel around 11:00 am and took the Metro to Solférino and walked to the Musee d'Orsay. I purchased 10 metro tickets. Buying it that way I saved 5 euro. Single tickets sell for 1.70 euro and a set of 10 tickets, which I was able to buy at the machine, the tickets just come out individually work out to 1.20 euro each trip. So thanks Margy. I guess it was fear of committment as I did know about buying a book of 10. I was anxious about getting on the Metro but it is quite similar to New York with the various lines intersecting. The names are just different, that's all.
The lineups for the Musée d'Orsay were pretty long and by the time I arrived it was just after noon. The sun was shining nice and hot. East Indian men were selling cold bottles of water for 1 euro just in front of the line ups. They were also selling Eiffel Towers in a variety of sizes and colours.
I ended up being lined up for about 40 minutes which was good, considering the crowd. Lines moved fairly quickly and it was all well organised. I think they have done this before.
While waiting, I started to think about how much time I would have left in Paris. A full day tomorrow and then just the morning on both Tuesday and Wednesday. In the end I didn't buy the pass but paid 13 euro today to see both L'Orangerie and Musée d'Orsay as that was a combo that they offered. It was a passport and you could go in and out as much as you wanted for the day so a good deal all in all, as both museums are not too far from each other.
I was so excited about being at the Musee d'Orsay, but I was still never really prepared for just how beautiful the museum and all the works of art were going to be. I have rarely felt that expression about crying because it is so beautiful. I felt extremely emotional. I wanted to cry and thought if I did, the gendarme would whisk me away and I'd never see the museum so I got a grip on myself pretty quick.
The artists were so very talented and there were so many. That is what I had a hard time grasping as well that there was so much talent. Some of the artists I saw and liked were Elie Delaunay, Xavier Winterhalter, Jacques-Emile Blanche (portraits of women. Pastels. Subtlty brought out skin tones very nicely), Jean-Joseph Perraud, Alfred Sisley (really nice paintings of scenary), Paul Cézanne. Especially liked Portrait de l'artiste.
Then Claude Monet. Lump in throat getting to see his work. Like my friend Jocelan said, just think once these guys touched this. I had never thought of the art that way although it was a given, that they touched it. Thinking this makes it all more powerful and amazing that a hundred or two hundred years have since passed and their work is still being enjoyed.
Pierre-August Renoir. Wonderful oil paintings and so many.
Paul Signac. Quite a unique style. All the strokes are short and in oil. Really like.
Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. All I can say is Wow. There are no words.
Edgar Degas. The athleticism that comes out in his sculptures takes your breath away. All the details, you can see the sinews and the curve of each part of the body. Truly amazing.
Paul Gaugin who said "Art is an abstraction; take it from nature while dreaming in front of it" was his recommendation.
Lucien Levy-Dhurmer - very cool portraits.
Degas' famous crowd scene. There was quite the throng of people around it and they were all silent. Just overwhelmed and in awe that they were here and seeing the original. People were simply speechless.
Gustave Caillebotte - really liked Portrait d'artiste. You can feel him looking at you. It is like you were looking at a person. Very good looking man. Whew, I am in Paris and yes there are quite the yummy looking men.
"Connection and dialogue" it said on the wall. It grouped two artists together. It was interesting to find that they had grouped Monet with Rodin. Monet is my favourite painter and Rodin is my favourite sculptor.
Honoré Daumier - Funny caricatures of men. Many of them look like lawyers or Judges from back in the day. Powedered wigs and all.
Plates by Service Lambert-Rousseau. They were all Chinese themed. Turtles, grasshoppers, birds, flowers, and Rooster. There were also chairs made of thick bamboo with porcelain seats and backs.
Also cloissione artwork.
I then entered a gold room with chandeliers. So overwhelmed by the intense beauty that I did start to cry. I have never seen anything so incredibily beautiful. There were sculputures in this room and I can't even remember the artist.
Ernest Boarrias - a sculptor who used coloured and solid coloured marble together. It made for a very interesting and unique combination. You would swear that it was fabric and not solid stone.
Charles Cordier - another sculptor whose pieces were just the heads and they were of black people. Possibly African but I am not certain.
Painter by the name of Leon Belly. A group of elephants in a scene from the wild in Africa I would assume. There was one other painting of his as well and it was a group of men on camels going through the desert.
I had spent about 2 hours there and didn't see everything of course, but saw all that I wanted to see except for Rodin on the third floor. I did however have enough reserve energy to hit the gift store. That's a separate energy store, kind of like the second stomach for dessert that my son Andrew has. I bought a postcard book on Gustav Klimt, another favourite of mine, a book on Paris, and a DVD on France.
Exhausted by then and still needed to go to the Musée de L'Orangerie.
Walked on the bridge over the Seine from the Musée d'Orsay to the Jardins des Tuileries. Enroute there was a musician playing and singing. He was on the underground path. Took his photo and gave him some money.
I had bought myself a roll of the 2010 Olympic loonies as I thought it would be a good gift along with tips for the people of France. So far it has been a pretty big hit. I generally give them a euro tip along with a loonie. Because I only have 20 of them I have used them sparingly and when it has been something special.
Went to the Jardins store where I found the perfect gift for a special little boy.
Then I went to the L'Orangerie. Much smaller museum and no line ups at least not at this time. There I got to see Renoir, Henri Matisse. Forgot about Matisse's work. I bought a print postcard of his called "Les Trois Soeurs" which was painted in 1917.
I am still amazed that I am now seeing the works of so many artists whose names I have heard all my life. I am also finding a whole new range of artists that I did not know about.
One of them being Andre Derain who did a wonderful painting called "Portrait de Madame Paul Guillaume Au Grand Chapeau". I could not keep my eyes off of this one. Something about it kept drawing me in and so I purchased a small print. He also did another one called "La Niece du Peintr Assise", vers 1931.
Marie Laurecin , Cezanne's "Le Rocher rouge"
More Monet, lucky me!!!
Pablo Picasso nudes. Just amazing.
One other surprising difference at the L'Orangerie is that photography without a flash was allowed. At Musée d'Orsay there was a strict no photographs ban although I did see one guy taking photos on the sly. On the main floor were two rooms of Monet's "The Water Lilies". Each room housed 4 paintings. There was a sign asking people to please be silent while viewing the Water Lilies. Unfortunately, many didn't see the sign, or could not read English. But one thing was certain, everyone was moved by their magnificence. The size of the paintings are much larger than I ever expected.
Well with every museum comes a gift store and well, you know, I do love to shop. I was able to buy a few gifts as well as getting myself a very nice Murano glass necklace.
Then I left the store. I wandered around and thought about something I had bought and decided that I had to go back to buy another one for a gift. I took care of that and decided that it was time to go. It was almost 5 pm and too late to see Rodin or any other museums.
As I was walking out, I saw posters on the wall regarding the various exhibits. I thought I should take a picture, then I thought maybe no. In the end I decided might as well as I can always delete it but I won't come to this museum again, at least not on this trip.
Panic hit like a punch to my gut, as my camera was not there. I lost it. I know it wasn't stolen. My backpack opens on the front and is always zipped up and never out of my sight. I must have been distracted.
Luckily, instead of freaking out, I went into auto pilot. I immediately went to one of the desks and asked her to please call the gift store as that was the likely place. I was most concerned that a pick pocket might be lurking. If so, I would have lost everything. Sure enough she reported that a camera had been found and that it was either coming upstairs or still at the gift store.
Everyone there was fantastic. So very lucky. Never again and never before either.
Must have put it down when I was distracted by something sparkly. Pretty sure it was when I was checking out Murano glass.
Probably would be a smart practice when travelling to always check you have all your belongings when you are leaving a place. I would not have known I lost it till later if I had not decided to take a photo of poster as I was leaving.
Certain I could not have been pick pocketed as bag never left my sight and always in front. I realize that one needs to take breaks as well as hydrate and snack. Prime example is when I left L'Orangerie just after 5 pm and I couldn't find my banana anywhere in my carry bag and figured I must have dropped it. I did find it about 3 mins after. I had taken it out and put it under my arm as I got out my water.
Good thing I don't panic as much as I have gotten older. Too much energy. Also thankfully logic still shows up on occasion.
Lucky for certain. Thanks travel goddess. I could have really lost my camera and my banana. Anyways, I ate snack of banana and Larabar then started to walk towards the Metro for my next stop.