It has been a long time since I wrote a post due to various reasons. This starts from where I left last time, outside the Invalides dome.
Paris is choc a block with Museums and given our limited time we had to pick and choose from the vast array of museums. We were already done with the Louvre. In the time we had left we had to decide how much we could see realistically.
Of all the Museums, the Rodin Museum with its gardens and limited but famous art pieces by the famous sculptor interested me the most. Also conveniently it was located literally next door to the Invalides dome and we didn’t have to waste time getting there.
The Rodin Museum building at the time of visit was undergoing renovations and the pieces were moved to a gallery near the entrance which was very crowded. As it is the famous pieces like “The Thinker” are in the garden and we proceeded straight there.
To those who don’t know about Rodin, all his works are bronze castings made over a plaster mould and hence there are quite a few replicas of his work, including “The Thinker” which has more than 20 authorised copies.
After watching the statue from all angles and marvelling at the acute understanding of human anatomy we proceeded to see all the statues in the garden each of which show emotion which is something you don’t expect from a bronze casting and that is the genius of Rodin.
The gardens themselves inspire of the rain making the ground boggy and all the railings of renovation around still looks amazing with all the priceless pieces of art intermingling with the greenery.
One piece which I remember most are “The Gates of Hell” a Bronze casting door to a museum that was never completed. It shows a collection of Rodin’s work in a single piece and all the figures emerging from the gates look haunting.
Even though we didn’t see half of the art I enjoyed this museum the most. It is concise and each piece is memorable and thats why it will take more space in this post than the more famous Orsay Museum. I will surely come back next time I’m in Paris.
Next we walked to the Orsay Museum and had a quick sandwich lunch on the way from one of the stalls just outside Orsay which reinforced my opinion that you can’t get bad food in Paris.
The Orsay museum collection starts off from where the Louvre stops, i.e the 1800s and early 1900s. That is the era of Monet and Van Gogh and other artists who painted what they saw, in other words ” Impressionism”. There was a long line to get in in-spite of having the Museum pass. Maybe that was due to the cold, rainy , windy conditions due to which everyone wanted to be inside.
The Orsay is a defunct train station refurbished to convert it into a museum and the architecture is unique for a museum. We sauntered through the rooms and marvelled at the paintings which almost look like photographs, high definition ones.
I have so many photos of art which actually look like photos!! Here is one in which the detail of the ploughed soil is amazing, leave apart the beasts and the background.
There are paintings after paintings which are highly detailed and we soon lost track of time. We also visited a temporary exhibit showing Prostitution in France through the ages. Unique and filled with great pieces collected from museums all over the world. Sadly photography wasn’t allowed and I don’t break rules. We rushed before closing to see the Mona Lisa of this Museum the self portrait of Van Gogh.
We literally ran out of time for the Orsay and didn’t do it justice. But we had Monsieur Eiffel’s Tower left to visit and it was our last day here. So we rushed back to the hotel and freshened up for our date with the monument Paris is known for, The Eiffel Tower.
But first I had another Paris landmark to visit which I had managed to miss in spite of living next door to it. The Rue Cler, which is a pedestrian only market street with numerous good cafes. So we walked through the busy lane and took in the aroma of Paris. We had not reserved a table and thankfully we got one at a great little cafe called Le Petit Cler. As usual the steak and dessert ( I don’t take food photos) was excellent and I am a fan of Parisian cafes for life!!
The tower was walkng distance and we had reserved a elevator to the summit 3 months in advance and didn’t need to stand in queue. ( there wasn’t a long one anyway) The top of the tower was covered in dense fog and if it wasn’t for the photos I had taken of the tower from the Arc, I wouldn’t have a single photo of the complete tower!! That too after being in Paris for 3 days!!
We ascended to the top to see everything fogged out. It was disappointing but we had everything going our way so far, so this didn’t matter that much.
So after walking around in the fog and looking into Eiffel’s reconstructed office on top, we descended to level two where it was a bit clearer and we got some photos and I had a coffee at a cafe on the tower. What a great place to have my last coffee in Paris.
We walked around for a long time and just enjoyed our last monument of this great trip. Finally after almost 2 hrs on top we descended and took some photos of a lit up tower with the focus on top looking like a death ray from the Star Wars films.
We walked back and got our last look at the tower before returning to the hotel for some sleep before catching our early morning flight back home. Each moment in Paris had been a memorable one and left you wanting more time to enjoy this great city.
In two days we had seen some breath taking art, visited eerily beautiful churches, walked the glamorous Champs Elysees, experienced a surreal night concert at the St Chapelle and gone to the top of two iconic Parisian monuments, the Arc de Triomphe and the Eiffel tower. We had accomplished more than I thought and hope I will be back to complete what I had missed this time.
Till next time