Sunday, June 20, 2010

Paris a Day: #11

Another rainy day in Paris. Since I got my laundry done last night, I thought I would venture out on my own to see some of the sights. Seeing the grey clouds thick with rain, I grabbed my scarf, trench coat, and iPod and headed to the Metro.

First I stopped at the Place de la Concorde and admired the Obelisk of Luxor and the Fountain of Commerce and Navigation with beautiful views of the Eiffel Tower and Embassy buildings.

Next I stepped into the Jardin des Tuileries with many 16th century sculptures, a fountain/lake with many chairs for lounging, and a long walk way leading to the Louvre. Although the expansive Louvre Museum lay only a short distance away, I opted to visit the Musée de l'Orangerie instead.

Although my class is scheduled to go to the Musée de l'Orangerie, we were informed on Friday that it was to be canceled due to a scheduled strike next week. It seemed only fitting that after this week's trip to Giverny that I go to Monet's "chapel" of Les Nympheas / Water Lilies. The rooms were designed in an infinity band and you wound around the two galleries completely surrounded by Monet's paintings. Photos were allowed, but NO flash. Unfortunately, I got yelled at because a person near me had a flash and the guard thought it was me. Language barriers prevented me from explaining and several people scowled and shamed me out of the room. Cheeks red, I slinked downstairs into the other galleries where I saw many of the masters of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. My embarrassment faded as I walked through gallery after gallery of some of the world's most beloved paintings.

This is a small and manageable museum, it may be dwarfed by the Louvre or the Orsay, but it is quite a lovely collection of impressionist and post-impressionist works. I would recommend that if ever you are in Paris, it is worth a visit.

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