After my trip to Versailles on the second day of my Museum Pass I was exhausted. On the third day, I sucked it up, iced my hip and leg, and got out of bed.
Day Three of the Museum Pass: My plan was simple. I would rest my leg in the morning and start my museum-ing later in the day. Today was my favorite museum,, Musee D’Orsay – which is filled with Impressionist paintings and how I do love the Impressionists. I can look at a Renoir painting all day long. Now it so happens that on Thursdays, Musee D’Orsay is open later than usual, until about 9:15pm. If I get to Musee D’Orsay later in the day I could have the place all to myself. For something to do before going to the D’Orsay, I found another impressionist museum, Musee de L’Orangerie.
Impressionist painter Claude Monet painted a series of water lilies to be specifically hung in this museum. There were eight huge paintings, each 6ft x 55ft depicting the same pond during one day and how the light changed from dawn to sunset. They were amazing. (So amazing I forgot to take pictures. Sorry.) It took him 12 years to complete these works of art. (He should have written a blog instead, it only takes about an hour.) There was also other painters represented, including my favorite Renoir. (For him, I did remember to take pictures.)
As I entered L’Orangerie it had started to drizzle and during my visit there it rained like chats and chiens. By the time I left the museum it had stopped raining. I had a fairly good hike ahead of me and I thought I’d take a short cut to take it easy on my hip. That brilliant short cut wouldn’t let me cross over the Seine at the Pont Solferino bridge, the closet one to the D’Orsay so I had to walk further down the river and cross over at Pont Royal. (My hip was pissed at my head.) By this time the clouds were gathering and the skies looked foreboding.
Just as I finished crossing the bridge the Paris skies opened up and it rained hard. Being the prepared traveler that I am, I had my umbrella. I slogged my way through huge puddles and unprepared tourists to the museum.
Aha, I had my trusty Museum Pass. With water-logged squeaky shoes, I went to the front of the line, past the soaking wet tourists, showed my pass and went straight inside. Volia, it worked! I now had about 6 hours to wander around, I could take my time and enjoy my museum-ing. Since I had so much time and the place was still crowded I thought I would get something to eat first.
After lunch the place was thinning out and I was ready to sit and stare at the paintings I longed for. As I searched for the Renoir section, there was an announcement in French, and if they talked slower I might have been able to pick out a word or two, but for some reason everybody was heading for the exits. I discovered that, not only they weren’t staying open late, they were closing early on MY Museum Pass day because it was Fete de la Musique – and they were giving a concert there in a two hours. Fete de la Musique happens on the first day of summer – where all over France and Europe music is played in cafes, bars, street corners and even in the Museum I had been looking forward to my whole trip.
Fete de la Musique is a great idea but did they have to do it on my museum-ing day? That meant that I only had one day left on the Museum Pass. Do I go back to the D’Orsay tomorrow or go to the Louvre as planned? Either way I needed to get home and ice the leg. By the time I finally reached my apartment I had to concentrate on every step I took. It was exhausting.
Day Four of the Museum Pass: I compared the entrance fees of the two museum and the Louvre would cost more to go to without the Museum Pass, so I chose the Louvre. I would see Musee D’Orsay another day without the pass.
That morning I had once again iced the leg, which was doing fine, but today it was my back that was hurting from the limping, Ugh! But I marched on. There’s a metro train that stops right at the Louvre so that was a great help. I started with statues.
And not far from the Venus de Milo is the famous:
After viewing both statues I was wondering: Couldn’t they take the head off of Venus de Milo and put it on Winged Victory so at least they’d have one whole statue? I couldn’t translate that thought into French so I didn’t ask the security guard next to me. The big attraction is off course, The Mona Lisa. That is the one piece of art in the entire huge Louvre that is clearly marked on how to find it. We’ve all seen the Mona Lisa but here what it really looks like:
But I did get closer:
As I walked through the Louvre I felt that I had made the wrong choice. Seeing in person all the famous statues and paintings in the Louvre is fine and you can get a lot of great photos. At the Musee D’Orsay I would have seen world renown paintings too but I would have seen them not just with my eyes but with my heart as well. After feeling disillusioned from my choice of museum-ing the last day of my Museum Pass, I did the only thing I could do..
. I WENT BOOK SHOPPING!!!
It was a long four days of museum-ing. I barely made it home that day and for the next two days I didn’t walk far, I just stayed in the neighborhood.
Muesum-ing with the Museum Pass: — PROS: The Museum Pass is the way to go. CONS: But she can be a demanding cruel mistress.