|Orsay, Rodin, and Army Museums, River Cruise, Geocache, Notre Dame (a la Nuit)|
Here is the line at Musée d’Orsay that we did not need to stand in. We had our passes already. Woo hoo!
Edouard Manet’s (1832-1883)—shocking at the time—Olympia (1863)
Is Lydia thinking about the Thinker?
This day, there were more than one thinker at the Rodin Museum.
A street performer twirls fire for our amusement and money. (Make sure you see the bigger version.)
Tuesday, October 18
Uh oh! I wrote this at the end of the day. Let’s hope I didn’t miss anything important. What was first every day? Why, petit déjeuner (breakfast,) of course. We found a place on Rue Cler, near our hotel, that did an “American” breakfast, which meant it had all that a French Breakfast had—café crème, croissant, jam, and orange juice—plus ham and eggs, for €8. A good price, considering tax and tip are included. The French breakfast was €6, but I went for the extra protein.
We journeyed, via the Metro, to our first stop of the day, Musée d’Orsay to check out the works of the Impressionists. The building itself was a train station constructed in 1900 for the World’s Fair. The Impressionists, however, were hated, outcast, extremist artist who themselves despised and rebelled against the popular neo-Greek (my word) style of their day. They embraced the “real,” in subject and technique, and snubbed the dreamy, fake, and accepted art of the time. Hated then, loved now. I suppose that radicals are never appreciated in their own time. I imagine it follows that, if you want to be an avant-garde, rebel, fringe artist today, you would need, in fact, to despise the work of the Impressionists, now so adored.
Next, it was a short Metro ride—we had become quite the experts by now using the Metro—to Musée Rodin, the sculptor. His most famous and recognizable piece likely is the Thinker, but like most artists, he created countless other works. At the museum, we had a cafeteria-style (but Parisian cafeteria-style, read: yummy) lunch. Once back inside, I had forgotten to turn off my camera’s flash, which has the annoying “feature” of resetting to automatic whenever it is turned on, and was properly scolded by a museum minion for subjecting a sculpture to the harsh light.
After checking out Rodin’s works outside and in, we undertook a short stroll over to the Musée de l’Armée, which recounts France’s experiences and episodes during World War Two. A German Enigma encryption machine was on display. I had picked up a fair amount of information about the war over the years, but it was interesting to get the French perspective. For example, I learned that part of France, called Vichy France, had remained unoccupied during the war in exchange for supplying resources to Hitler’s efforts.
All worn out, we headed back to our room for—you’ll never guess—a nap. On the way we picked up some postcards and a picnic supper, complete with wine. After a rejuvenating nap, we boarded the Metro to Ile de le Cite, the heart of Paris, to catch a nighttime river cruise and eat our picnic supper. It was fun to sneak our little meal on board and sip our wine as we passed under a dozen bridges that vault the River Seine.
After the cruise, which had been conducted in both French and English, we picked up our boarding photo and struck out on a multi-part geocache. Unfortunately, we were unable to complete it, since a park with the second to last leg of the hunt had closed.
Not to worry. We resolved to finish it that week. A brief consultation of the map identified the nearest Metro station and we headed off. On the way, we took some cool night shots of Notre Dame. I told myself that I would need to try some more of these. Then, ready to call it a night, we were back on the Metro headed for base camp, our hotel.
Read more about day 4 on Lydia’s blog.
Paris Vacation, Day 4 11 comments