Monday, July 9, 2012

July 9, Musee de l'Orangerie, Louvre, Notre Dame, Bus Ride, Bercy Village

We tried to squeeze in as much as we could today, and I think we squeezed a lot - maybe even more than yesterday!  We walked down to the museum area via Opera Garnier and Place Vendome.  Then we went to see the giant Monet lily pad paintings at l'Orangerie, had lunch, hit the Louvre and Notre Dam, took a scenic bus ride, walked a bunch, had dinner in Bercy Village, then took the subway back to our hotel.

We walked by the Opera Garnier on our way down to the museums today.

I seem to not be able to stop taking pictures of apartment buildings with matching window boxes and/or shutters.

We also passed Place Vendome on the way.
Guess where we are now - just outside the Musee de l'Orangerie?  That's right!

The Musee de l'Orangerie has a lot of the enormous Monet lilypad paintings, among other things.  In spite of the size of those huge paintings it's a relatively small museum.

We went around three sides before we found the entrance.
So many cool things to see along the way.

I took a couple of illegal pictures. This is a room in a doll house, believe it or not.
The details are absolutely exquisite!

I wanted to buy this poster from the gift store, but somehow that didn't happen.

There's that ferris wheel we rode on the first night.
This area is called the Jardin des Tuileries. 

There is art everywhere in Paris!

We are not going to the Louvre yet - we need to get some lunch first.

So many statues!

We saw a music store before we saw a place we wanted to eat.  While we were in there, about thirty planes flew by in formation.  Here are three of them.

We finally made it to the Louvre.  Doug prefers music stores to museums and art galleries, so that music store excursion took a little longer than necessary.

I thought maybe Doug was burnt out on paintings so we headed for the statues.

Venus de Milo

Winged Victory

looking out the window at the Louvre

basses and bassoons, in heaven, apparently
another example of windows and shutters that I can't seem to stop photographing

Should we walk or take the subway?  Doug votes for the subway.

The next bunch of photos are in and around the Notre Dame cathedral.  What a magnificent and awe-inspiring place!

By now it was early evening and our feet were hurting a lot after being on them all day.  We decided to do the cheap and easy Rick Steves style scenic tour on public bus #24.  Since we are bumbling tourists we stayed on it well past the last stop, which was not announced as being the last stop as far as we could tell, considering my limited French and Doug's zero French.  After about a mile, the bus driver finally noticed us and kicked us off the bus and we had to walk back because there were no more buses out that far.  And that was fine, because it was a beautiful evening and we'd been off our feet for at least half an hour.

We needed to make a pit stop, and fortunately there was a lovely grocery store along the way.  Doug wanted to buy some tomatoes because we were STARVING, but I talked him out of it because they are too messy to eat while walking.

We finally got to the last bus stop and caught a bus to the nearest subway stop which happened to be, in Rick Steve's words, in "trendy Bercy Village."  Bercy Village is an area that used to be a bunch of warehouses next to the train tracks, but now it's a pedestrian street full of restaurants and shops.  It seemed like a good place to stop and have dinner, although it did not seem to be especially trendy, to me.  It had sort of a Bethesda vibe to it.

After dinner we took the metro back to St. Lazare, which you can see out of the window of our hotel.  I'm so glad we stayed at this hotel - it was a nice place and in a great location -  walkable to nearly everywhere, with both subway and trains only a half block away.


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