Saturday, October 12, 2013

Paris, Day 5

I don't know why it's taking me so long to blog about these glorious days.

On this day we headed out for a day of museums! My favorite museum was up first!

We needed to walk through the Tuileries Garden to get to the Musee d'Orsay. It was a huge, grand garden.


Do you see the goats?

People were just lounging, and so early in the morning. 9ish?


Ahhhh! My museum! It used to be a railway station.

Here the boys are talking art, I think..?
Yeah, a selfie!
I don't know why I love this owl so much.
Such a beautiful space!
Looking out over the Seine, through the huge clock face.
You have to expect crowds. You also have to expect tour groups. And buses full of foreign tourists. It was hard to get close to some of the art pieces because of a tour group, monopolizing the entire space in front of an art piece. It was somewhat annoying. The tour guide would speak through her microphone, and all of her tourists would have headphones to hear her.
Like, don't they know I love Monet? And I just wanted to enjoy my moment?
Seeing all of these paintings brought me back to my favorite art history classes at St. Olaf.
Finally, a Monet up close.
I wasn't too familiar with this artist, though I had heard of him. Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. I knew I'd want to look him up later and learn a bit more about him. Seems like he was well known for his work in Montmartre.
This was super beautiful in person.
Ahhh, here's Lola. Even with a feather in her hair!
We left the museum and I was super happy. Our next destination was the Musée Rodin. We passed another more beautiful sights and paused in a park for lunch and rosé wine.
The gardens in the Rodin complex were beautiful. The flowers, the sculptures throughout the garden. Yay.
Ahhh, the Thinker. I suspect my sister caught her hubby on camera imitating this same pose.
I just posed Jim in front of the immaculate tree.
The Gates of Hell. Super fascinating. I wish that man would have moved! He was in his own world! Maybe reflecting.
Rodin was friends with some of my favorite painters. Monet, VanGogh, etc.
There's the man!
We discovered a downpour when we left the museum. We waited under the trees for it to pass. It didn't. Not for a long while. I know it was sweet relief for the entire city. It really cooled things off!
We parted ways with Ana and Rich, and we ran in the rain to the nearby Musée de l'Armée (Napoleon's Army Museum). Ana and Rich had already been there several years before, and so we went alone to experience it for our first time.
Our first sight was the huge Dome Church. Napoleon's tomb is in this building. We explored much of this magnificent dome and then found the tomb.
Even the marble floors were beautiful.
I imagine that many of these images are of Napoleon in his glory days.
and finally his tomb.
Everything was beautiful.
The next part of the complex is the collection of army and artillery objects. We walked through these pretty quickly. I'm glad because we seriously could have been there for days. It is a huge, huge collection. Pretty amazing.
We were both struck by the smallness of this uniform. James size! Ugh.
A photo.
Louix XIV's suit of armor.
Beautiful courtyard.
How Napoleon pictured himself--
And then the reality!
Napoleon's stuffed horse. Yikes! It is falling apart and quite gross looking. But I couldn't stop looking at it. Poor thing.
Outside the golden Dôme des Invalides. That is real gold, my friends.
Do you blame me for wanting a nap after all those museums? :)
After the nap, we headed to the Geek Bar! I read about it and knew we'd have to visit.
Items here and there to show you all of its geekiness.
It was literally a cave. Like a Wampa cave. We headed downstairs and through all these cavern like tunnels to little seating areas. We ordered beers and nachos. (French nachos are apparently just chips!)
My beer was tasty. I didn't know what I was ordering but I did take note because it was delicious. Grimbergen rouge. The rouge part I think was the good part. Jim got the Grimbergen blanche, and mine was definitely the tastier, almost-sweet better one.
Jim doesn't like this picture but I needed to capture him at the Geek Bar.
Jim found a familiar friend!
Bathroom signs.
Jim said that the men's bathroom had a unique feature. There was a video game above the urinal. An aiming game? I don't know. I didn't dare venture!
This next picture is a great example of the treasures you can find when just walking around in Paris. I love anything Egyptian so I was intrigued by this fountain. The Fontaine du Palmier.
You just don't see these kinds of things in the U.S.!


And you just don't see knights in crossing signals either!


We found a little place with burgers and salads for dinner. My salad was like no American salad. It was topped with crusty bread and melty fancy cheeses. Even the fries were good!


And just sitting at the outdoor Paris street cafe you see all kinds of things. We ran (ha!) across these running clubs several times in Paris. A group of 100+ runners stampede through, with boomboxes blaring. It looked exhausting. I'd rather walk miles and miles exploring Paris, thanks :)


And the last event of the day was that we returned to our hotel room and were told that there was no power. Yikes! Luckily this happened on the coolest night we'd had yet. The power (and air conditioning) kicked in during the middle of the night. We were probably back in our hotel room by 9pm and with nothing to do (no wifi, TV) and not being able to see well... we opened a bottle of wine and listened to my Rick Steves audio tours on my iPhone. It was actually pretty interesting and useful for our next day. We were headed to Versailles! So we listened to the history and tour beforehand.


What a great day! Looking back on this (nearly three months later) it is just amazing thinking of all we did in one day. Such great memories. Thank you again, Jimmy, and Ana for all of your loving efforts to make our trip a great one!


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