Late start this morning but we needed the extra few hours of sleep. In the apartment, we had a quick breakfast of yogurt and coffee. French yogurt is delightfully rich. Wish I could bring some home. We set out on foot for Musée D’Orsay.
We crossed the Seine on the Pont des Arts pedestrian bridge. Hundreds of padlocks adorned the railings. Many had hearts or initials and dates inscribed with permanent marker. Tonight when we returned to our apartment, after shucking my shoes and propping my tired feet, I searched the internet and found that it’s a way for lovers, young and old, to express their love. After locking the padlock to the bridge, they throw the key into the Seine. The combination locks are apparently for those who worry about second thoughts…it allows them to return later and remove the lock. 🙂 Read this link for more info. (Great story scene!)
Lines were already long at Musée D’Orsay but we got in sooner because we were buying a Paris Museum Pass. D’Orsay is a magnificent converted rail station from the early 1900’s. It houses hundreds of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings….Manet, Monet, Renoir, Degas, Cezanne, and many more. Currently being renovated so some of the rooms were closed. And much of Monet’s work is on loan to the Grand Palais for their special exhibition. (Not a problem; it’s nearby.) Also not quite as many Renoirs as I’d hoped for but still, so many masterpieces to see.
We ate lunch in Le Restaurant, the museum’s second floor world class restaurant. Sea bass for him, while I savored a thin vegetable tart with a thyme sorbet. Exquisite. Service was like watching a fine dance. Subtle, almost choreographed. From the crystal chandeliers and gilt framed ceiling paintings to simple table settings, the decor was elegant. A unique experience.
After D’Orsay, we walked over cobblestone streets and narrow sidewalks to Musée Rodin. We were greeted by The Thinker, and many other fine bronze statues. The gardens surrounding the museum building were peaceful, with roses in full bloom. In October. Only in Paris.
From D’Orsay we strolled to La Tour Eiffel – the Eiffel Tower. After rushing through a gauntlet of pushy vendors, each with identical displays of multi-colored miniature towers, we made our way to the entrance. Lines were long but moved steadily in Disneyesque manner. On our ride to the top, we were surrounded by a group of Italian high school students. Young, vibrant, telling jokes only they understood, they punched each other, then kissed cheeks as they met friends across the railings.
The top of the tower took my breath away, almost literally. Just before the summit the enclosure is glassed in, but at the top of the last flight of steps the viewing tower is only wired in. The wind was gusty, cold, but ah, the view! While we were up there, day shifted to dark. As we descended, the tower lights came on.
Tired now, well past my bed time. Friday we see the medieval tapestries at Musée de Cluny, Notré Dame, Saint Chappelle, and more. Bon Soir!