Friday, September 10, 2021

France 2021, Day 3

Every day in France should be a chocolate croissant day – and today was! After breakfast, we took advantage of our two-day unlimited Metro pass and headed off to the Musée D’Orsay.
I had been there on my only other trip to France more than 25 years ago but it was even more beautiful than I remembered. It was crowded but less so than pre-pandemic trips to the MFA or Met.
I especially like the giant clocks and the way one could look through them to see the Sacré-Coeur in the distance. I am not a huge Van Gogh fan but I liked this crooked church (below). My mother and I separately saw this Renoir of a boy in a sailor suit and thought he resembled my nephew, Francis-Xavier.
Afterward, we went to the Luxembourg Gardens, which Mark had suggested. These were inspired by English gardens and include flowers so are more attractive than the Tuileries.
Luxembourg Gardens
It was ferociously hot but we found some shade and a chicken sandwich, watched children playing and sailing boats in a fountain. I left my mother to contemplate nature and took a quick trip to the Musée Rodin. Not that it was exactly quick because I took a wrong turn on the way to the Metro and wound up at the Sorbonne, which my grandfather attended around 1924.
The Sorbonne, Latin Quarter
I wanted to visit the Musée Rodin, not only because I had heard the grounds were worth the trip but also because I am in the middle of Louise Penny’s All the Devils are Here which is not only set in Paris but also begins in the garden of the Musée as Gamache and his godfather contemplate a Rodin sculpture, The Burghers of Calais, which he has described previously. 
The Burghers of Calais
I spent about 45 minutes inside and out, and preferred the sculpture garden.  I wanted to buy a postcard of the Burghers for my friend Suzanne but they didn't have any (poor marketing, as I explained to the gentleman in the gift shop who said I was not the first to seek one and if only "they" listened to him).  I had a pleasant walk back to the Luxembourg Gardens and by then had figured out a way to get back to the hotel on the Metro with the minimum of walking, in case my mother's shoes were hurting.
Van Gogh's Crooked Church
There were wild Happy Hours going on in our hotel neighborhood, all outside, but we found an Italian restaurant slightly away from the hubbub and had just paid when it began to pour, which we were not expecting. We ran home but got very wet and the room was steamy. I couldn’t prop the windows open or the rain would have come in. I could not go to sleep because my research class was meeting at 7:30 central time/1:30 am French time! I was so tired I was actually considering logging into Zoom and falling asleep when my professor said she was going to break us into groups for an assignment at the end of class! I managed to stay alert and participate until 3 am but it wasn’t easy! We are only allowed to miss one class each semester and I figured my internet connection on the ship next week might be less stable than at the hotel.
You have to like a subway system with stations
named for my nephew and one for Suzanne Lenglen
popped out to take this picture as I zipped by.


Cath said...

Thoroughly enjoying your holiday, Constance. Thanks for all the photos and chat about your experiences. Having to stay up for a lesson was tough.

TracyK said...

You and your mother seem to have endless energy. And attending a class in the middle of the night!

Jeanne said...

I'm loving the armchair travel! The Smithsonian has a cast of the Burghers of Calais at the Hirschhorn, in case you still want a postcard of it.

Katrina said...

Thanks for the great photos. I'm always complaining that the shops in museums and galleries are missing a trick. They never have what I would like to buy.

JaneGS said...

I took those same pictures at Musee D'Orsay :)

And I love the Rodin Musee, like you, especially the sculpture garden. The whole time I was reading All the Devil's Are Here, I was thrilled to know exactly what Penny was describing. Kudos to you for reading it in Paris.

Karen K. said...

It's so frustrating when museums don't have the postcards you want, or have postcards of artworks that aren't on display! There is a small Rodin museum in Philadelphia, it's worth seeing if you like sculpture, and it's free! And just a short walk from both the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Barnes Foundation.

CLM said...

That sounds like a great idea, Karen, thank you. I have always meant to go to the Barnes but I think it was being renovated on one visit and most recently I have been rushing down and back for basketball games. I hope to be back in Philadelphia in early 2022. Also, a friend in DC has been telling me I need to go to the famous book barn!