A Travellerspoint blog

Keeping The Best till Last:

The Answer to 'What Was the Highlight of Your Trip'

This last post has been so difficult to write and I've just figured out why. Little Ms Perfectionist thinks she can't do justice to the story of the best day of her whole trip!

So I'm just going to plough on and if it's bad I'm sorry. But you can take it from me that this day was so breathtakingly beautiful that I thought I'd died and gone to heaven. THAT's why it's so dear to my heart, and why I want so much to measure up to its perfection. But like the photos don't do it justice, and can't capture just how exquisitely beautiful this place is, neither will my blog - and that's life.

These eight weeks have truly been the trip of a lifetime.

It was a gift of love from my Beloved who wanted this trip to be the Most Amazing 60th 40th a girl could have!

The route was devised around the core premise of spending My Birthday and Our Wedding Anniversary (39 years!!!!) in Paris, and spending time exploring France and Italy in the process.

There were so many things we discovered, laughed at, cried at, got frustrated by, and totally gobsmacked us, that no blog could ever capture them all.

I was a little surprised that I didn't fall in love with Venice or Rome but delighted I did fall in love with Tuscany. I enjoyed Provence and most of provincial France but didn't fall in love with it either. Though that Pont du Gard was certainly the second best highlight of the trip!

When we decided to cull some of our planned destinations in provincial France for the sake of our sanity, I was really happy to do so. But there was one condition. While I was happy for our visit to Giverny to be taken out of the plan, it had to be put into our schedule as a Day Trip from Paris. Phil seemed not to care much either way.

And then we went there from Paris.

I booked our visit for the day before my birthday. I'd always wanted to go, and thought it might add to the lovely build-up! We chose to get to Giverny on a half day small group trip, rather than train and bus and all that palaver. (Remember by this time I was walking with a stick thanks to unco-operative knees so choosing options that placed least hurdles in front of me was critical.)

Giverny is about 70km north-west of Paris and the location of Claude Monet's recreated gardens where he created so many famous and spectacular paintings, many of them painted right there in the garden not in any studio but there in his beloved light. I'm an Impressionist nut, but I'm a Claude Monet fiend! So I figured a trip to Giverny would be a mighty good way to spend my last day in my 50s 30s.

It was an early start and still a bit short on daylight as we gathered at our pick up point. But, as we travelled in our comfy van with helpful driver and 3 others, the sun began to come out for the first time in about a week. It was only about a 70 minute drive. By the time we arrived and began exploring there was some amazing morning light and quite a still day. How appropriate! After all Claude Monet spent so many years exploring light on the water lilies, pond, and surrounding gardens.

I've seen so many photos of this longed for location but NONE of them could have prepared me for it. It was so exquisitely beautiful, even though it was wearing it's autumn wardrobe. That caught me unawares - not the autumn wardrobe, I KNEW it was autumn! It's famous for its beauty in spring, so I'd prepared myself for some degree of dullness and little colour. But no!

The varieties of the green tonings are used to powerful effect. Even though it was too early in Autumn for much colour change in any deciduous trees, there was still enormous breadths of colour to the the "big pieces" of the garden.



In fact I shouldn't just call it "garden" because it is in fact 2 gardens on either side of a road. The famous water lily pond is reached by a neat little subway under the road and reveals itself slowly as you meander beside a stream. Following the stream and listening to the birds we came upon a woodland of bamboo trees that, either by nature or careful nurture, have little lower foliage so from a human level you are looking at an array of bamboo trunks that is soothing in its patterns, scale and infused light.


You pass a small pond with two boats that instantly reminded me of this painting of his stepdaughters. Then a little green bridge crossed the stream. Straight away I note its similarity and difference from my memories of the famous "Japanese bridge".

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And slowly we came upon the beginnings of THE pond. The water gardens only covers about 2 acres but seems to be endless and like all good landscaping seems to have different areas delivering different views so that the garden keeps drawing you further towards its many highlights. Patches of particular colours and contrasts, clusters of particular plants, different stopping spots to view water lilies from different perspectives. Tall structured trees and bushes mix with curvaceous meandering plants and beautiful drooping willows and feathery foliage.


While we worked our way around the pond, firstly came views of a simple smaller bridge painted that unmistakeable green, and then the famous bridge the - the Japanese Bridge with all its wisteria foliage winding all over it. Sadly no clusters of drooping purple and white spring flowers, but insanely they were instantly there in my mind's eye from so many viewings of those gorgeous paintings. I could practically smell the heady perfume of those heavy flowers. (Yes maybe I do have a vivid imagination, but what a time to summon it!) The early simpler bridge just built the excitement at eventually finding the "real" bridge.

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We spent about spent about 50-60 minutes working our way around this amazing pond and all its exuberance of flowers and foliage and trees and truly stunning reflections in the still water. The cameras were working overtime but it was impossible to capture just how truly AWESOME it was.

And everywhere AMAZING REFLECTIONS, so powerful you just KNOW why Monet became so obsessed as to paint the pond as if it had no edges but instead just water and the reflections in it.

P1050480.jpgP1050479.jpg270_P1050475.jpgP1050472.jpgReflections 1

Reflections 1


Eventually we returned under the road and moved into the garden of Monet's house. Even more flowers and spectacular colours were to be found here as well as the arched walkways of his paintings. We met a lovely American girl who was working trimming plants in the garden. She was a trained horticulturalist who'd been working for 5 years in the US, and quit her job when she succeeded in her application for a month long unpaid internship in these amazing gardens. She was sooooo happy to have that heavenly gig she just kept smiling.


And that's what Phil said to me a little later. "You can't wipe the smile off your face, can you?" Sooooo right!


Then the unmistakeable Monet house, seen in paintings and photos. Again I could picture the tall formally dressed Monet with the bushy white beard! Yes I know - kinda freaky!


None of his paintings are kept in the house though there are a lot of replicas of his works in his studio laid out, edge to edge on the walls, as old photos showed he kept them. All through the house are family photos of Monet and his children, step-children and his second wife, extended family etc. As well, many rooms held Japanese works that Monet had collected during his ongoing fascination with Japanese art and had obviously influenced some of his work - and his garden.

The rooms are wonderfully recreated giving a real sense of a large family home. There was a gloriously warm and joyful BIG dining room painted chrome yellow where the family would gather. In contrast, the mix of pale blue and a striking shade of cerulean blue is used on a massive array of tiles in the kitchen. It turned the room into something like those "willow patterned" platters so beloved of that turn-of-the-century era. And then there was a wall long shelf of burnished copper pans and a massive stove all necessary for feeding family and friends.

We'd spent so long meandering that I suddenly realised I needed to be back at our car in 10 minutes and I was yet to reach - The Shop! Like a woman possessed, I did that shop in quick smart time, coming out laden with goodies for me and gifts for others and still a silly grin plastered over my face!

Posted by OwenGadflies 01:50 Archived in France Tagged paris france monet giverny monet's_garden impressionists Comments (4)

Just Plain Quirky

The Miscellaneous That just Doesn't Fit

One of the things that make for wonderful shared memories of our travels is the "just plain quirky".

Sometimes it's the serious art that's quirky, sometimes the street art, sometimes the way people decorate their buildings, sometimes people's behaviour.

Sadly, what we find quirky will probably say much more about us than about the places and people we saw. But then again maybe that's part of the reason why you've been reading.


Keeping an eye on the street outside Tower 31. It's a building marked for development but in the meantime it is the site of a temporary (and changing) exhibition of street art in Paris. Phil tried to get inside twice. The first time he thought the queue was so long because it was Sunday. And Parisians are dedicated art followers!! But when he went during the week, the queue was even longer and after waiting an hour in the queue he reckoned about 20% of the people in front of him had got in. At that point he gave up and took what photos he could on the outside.


If you're into street art (and with a son who is, we've developed an interest) you will like some more of the pictures to be found here and here

Everywhere we went, we found weddings. I guess it's not that surprising if you're visiting iconic places in Europe that you'd find people getting married, but we were surprised at how often we found them!


You might even suggest that Phil is a little quirky himself. His photography quirks include:

  • gargoyles
  • knockers (door knockers that is)
  • catching people in windows
  • (and on this trip) Exit signs that have been added to.

So I thought, seeing I'm the one writing (and he can't get me back), this entry will have some examples of his little quirks obsessions. But all is well I'm not going to inflict the gargoyles and the knockers on you!

I must say, his signs find was delightful, so let's look there! We found out later it was the work of a French artist, but they were everywhere in Florence! and occasionally in Paris


And then there was his little voyeur activities, where he liked capturing people when they were at windows or on balconies. How's the shirtless bloke? The word "tosser" sprang to mind!


The other thing we noticed while we were in Paris, was that there seemed to be a protest somewhere in Paris every day. Now some of them seemed to be about racial issues, others humanitarian, but sometimes we weren't really sure! We got pretty bored with it so I think we only took one photo. This protest was accompanied by dozens and dozens of buses blocking the streets. Something was upsetting the people from Normandy, just not sure what!! Perhaps one of you can tell us! P1050010


Under the title of quirky art we'd like to share these.


There were the occasional quirky choices/behaviours we stumbled on.

P1050139.jpgShopping is such a Boar!

Shopping is such a Boar!

And there were a couple of great artistic improvements to buildings. I especially love the Trompe L'Oeil of the windows (that don't actually exist).


And finally, let's have a different look at what Parisians do on a Sunday. This is an organised skate-for-all. Roads are blocked off and out come the old-fashioned skates, the in-lines and all manner of other things and they were having a ball!!


Posted by OwenGadflies 01:15 Archived in France Comments (3)

Touristing in Paris

The Ones We Had on Our Wishlist

Part of the reason why I love visiting Paris is because it has so many layers.

As I mentioned in an earlier entry, on our first visit we saw some of the iconic places in Paris, but as we left we were acutely aware we had barely scratched the surface. So there were a heap more places to go visiting on this trip. I thought you might like to hear about some of the others we went to see. BTW the closest we got to the Tour Eiffel, was on a bus ride and at a distance. And as for the Arc de Triomphe and the Champs Elysees, never went near them!

Last time we couldn't get into Sainte Chapelle because of a strike. I was peeved no end because it and Notre Dame were on my small list for that trip. Sainte Chapelle is a two-levelled gothic chapel built by one of the French Kings especially to house the relic of Christ's Crown of Thorns from the Crucifixion. The upstairs Royal Chapel contains the most amazing 13th century stained-glass windows and was where this "relic" was held. Even today it is a sparkling golden space. The photos sadly don't do it any justice.


When we were there, about a third of the windows were blocked off for renovations. Despite the limitations and a meagre bit of sunlight on a cold and dreary day, what was visible was still just as stunning as I'd been told. Most people who walked through the small opening at the top of the stairs, said "Wow" or some other similar exclamation, because of its eye-popping beauty. I was intrigued by some people there who were obviously approaching the "altar" area as if on a pilgrimage; taking careful steps up the "aisle"; standing on particular patterns in the mosaics; and meditating at each step. Others, like me, were just lost in the beauty, shaking our heads in wonder at such dazzling splendour.

Others, who seemed uninterested in what it was all about or its story, were just taking photos and moving on to the next thing on their tour, seemingly impervious to the beauty. Now I know first-hand that you can get all churched, or chateaued out. I've talked about that already! But still, even when I'm in art overload, I can't stop myself from admiring the work of amazing artisans, engineers and builders, and the stamina of some European buildings to survive and still be showing us their treasury of beauty centuries later.

I can only imagine how beautiful Sainte Chapelle would be lit by lots of candles flickering in that golden space. So next time we're in Paris, it will be on the list again, but this time I'd like to attend one of the concerts that are regularly held there. It would be an intimate and wonderful experience I am sure.

Right near the Chapelle is the Conciergerie. All the buildings in the area were palaces of varying ages and the area is now called the Palais de Justice and includes the courts right next to the Chapelle! The Conciergerie was so-called because when the royal court went off to live in Versailles, the concierge was left in charge of the building. It became a prison and housed the thieves and harlots and the traitors etc. It's famous because it's where the Revolutionary Tribunal held its inquiries though I don't think justice was part of the package back then, it was more revenge on aristocracy and their supporters. Marie Antoinette was supposedly kept in the building, though her real cell is long gone, and taken from there to her beheading with a guillotine with a blade like the one in the photo, in what is now the Place de la Concorde. (And you do know she never said any of that crap about eating cake, don't you?)

When we arrived in Paris the Conciergerie had closed for some exhibition and the fact that we couldn't go there (and we passed it many times as it was right near our apartment) made it somehow more alluring. When it did eventually open again, it had some other art installation in the space, and some of the areas of interest couldn't even be seen. So all round, I found it all a bit too touristy and twee for words. Wouldn't go back again can guarantee that. However here's some photos of how Marie A's cell may have looked like. She certainly was kept away from the harlots and in a cell of reasonable proportions as cells go, but it was pretty pissy in comparison with the lifestyle she'd been living!


Another tourist spot we hit was the Pantheon. Now, there's a Pantheon in Rome that is another amazing feat of Roman engineering, with an oculus or enormous circular opening in the roof.

The Pantheon in Paris was originally a church dedicated to St Genevieve and was rebuilt based on the Roman Pantheon in the 18th century. The building is now a secular space that still contains frescoes about St Genevieve and other Christian themes but is also a place to honour French victories and acts as a mausoleum for more modern famous French people. People like Victor Hugo, Voltaire, Marie and Pierre Curie are now interred in a massive crypt under the space. Normally, it also holds Foucault's Pendulum which is a simple but massive ceiling to floor device conceived as an experiment to demonstrate the rotation of the Earth. But like so many places in Europe, it was in the middle of refurbishment and the pendulum was in mothballs. Sad!


So I'm afraid I found this one a bit ho-hum too, unlike my enjoyment of the beautiful Roman one. See these pics of the Roman one that I don't think I shared earlier!


We also visited La Madeleine, still a Catholic church but built like a Roman temple, which faded a bit beside some of the other amazing churches in Paris and Europe. However Sacre Coeur which is a beautiful white basilica at the top of Montmartre (the only really hilly part of Inner Paris) was fascinating and has the added benefit of the BEST VIEW of a large part of Paris. Of course it's also the sight for so many of the most unsavoury trinket sellers and pickpockets who all gather up their gear in less than 2 seconds and flee at the sight of a policeman.

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My friend Claire and I visited Opera Garnier one night in the audience for the French Ballet performing La Dame Aux Camellias. In the process, we also saw another amazing Over-the-Top building which had us endlessly muttering "no wonder the peasants revolted"! BTW, the ballet helped us realise just how fantastic the Australian Ballet is. As regular subscribers to the Oz Ballet, we instantly realised how lucky we are, because our dancers would have left this lot for dead!!!! But the Opera Garnier was amazing.


One delightful spot we found was beside the Canal St Martin, which is also one of those canals with the locks so that the flat boats can pass along the canals. It's obviously a spot the Parisians love meandering. In fact, I noticed that promenading on Sundays (when most shops are shut) is a Parisian habit! As is playing with remote-controlled yachts!!


In another post we'll focus on the quirky, or should we say MORE quirky?

Posted by OwenGadflies 01:46 Archived in France Tagged churches art paris france ballet Comments (2)

Mopping Up My Dribble

or I LOVE French Food!

I don't want to bore you with a diary of each day in Paris so I thought I might just cover some general topics .

So this one is a little foray into French food.

I've loved French food all my adult life. So as soon as we crossed the border into France the first thing we noticed was the bread!! I have no idea what they do to their bread or what it is about their wheat or flour, but French bread is fantastic. There is nothing better for breakfast than warm just-baked baguette, just bought at the Boulanger a few doors down. It not only tastes fantastic, it's a romantic journey from baker to plate as well. And I'm sorry to any and all Italian readers of this blog, but Italians just can't do bread that appeals to me. But France ...

I did not prepare a single meal in our appartement partly due to previously discussed opinions of the apartment and partly because I don't see why you would cook with all those great Parisian eateries outside your door.

Unfortunately right outside our door on Rue de la Huchette, one of the oldest streets in Paris, was the Greek area. Greek restaurants everywhere! I can get good Greek in Melbourne. That wasn't what I was after.

What's more our street was tourist heaven. All the tours came there. So we'd be woken to the sound of tour guides doing early tours and prattling on. And the street was constantly full of people from about 10.00 in the morning til about 5.00 in the morning. I know some people say that eating anywhere in Paris means you will eat well I don't quite agree!

So P and I developed a general rule of thumb, if a restaurant is on a Main Street or has touters outside (as did every restaurant in Huchette) then the food will be ordinary to crap. The best restaurants are in the little side streets so just go looking. Same rules as apply in Lygon St Carlton really, if you live in Melbourne!

We had some yummy meals. Foie gras kept appearing on my plate and Haut Medoc bordeaux wine kept appearing in Phil's glass. I've even discovered why it's better to have pink meat - mm tender. I tried some seafoods that I have always avoided like the plague and discovered that I should continue to avoid them.

And of course there was also the open-air markets and the specialty epiceries etc. We fell in love with a set of shops where one after the other in a row were, the fruiterer, the butcher, the poissonerie (fish), the charcuterie (hand-prepared cold meats, pates, salads, prepared meals), the fromagerie (abundant varieties of French cheeses), the boulangerie/patisserie (bread pastries and cakes), the chocolaterie, and the wine shop. And outside the shops was an outdoor market 3 days a week which included both more food stalls and other goodies!! It was like food heaven just beside the Metro entry!!

On our Wedding Anniversary, which also conveniently (read: carefully planned) fell during our stay in Paris we ate and drank a yummy lunch exclusively stocked from these stores.


Highlights in Paris restaurant-visiting were the meal we shared with the Vitales and the Nolans (my sister and brother in law) on my birthday. We dined at Le Christine on Rue Christine to celebrate Christine's birthday with a superbe meal. We enjoyed it so much P and I went back there for our last night.

Also fantastic was Le Raminet in a little street not far from our appartement. Romantic and sublime food. Unfortunately the others had all left by the time I'd found that!! But keep it on the list, peeps. It was excellent.

And there were also some odd moments. We surreptitiously watched a guy trying snails for lunch (clearly for the first time). I think he ate 3 of the 6. That did nothing to encourage Phil to reverse his decision not to try them. But our nephew, whom we met up with for one night, tried them and said they tasted like stringy lamb. Now, we're not sure if this was bravado on his part because he did have his 8yo son with him, who was completely grossed out by the whole concept, and no Dad wants to look less than macho in front of their son!

The one thing we simply couldn't fathom, was the French OBSESSION with NUTELLA!!!!! Creperies everywhere offer crepes with nutella spread thickly across the whole thing. They have enormous jars of the stuff that you see the cook scooping out enormous globs onto the crepe. The supermarket has enormous stocks of it. It's so incongruous in a country so (justifiably) proud of their cuisine!

Another observation is that, just like the Italians, the French buy enormous amounts of bottled water. Now, I'm pretty fussy about the taste of tap water and I found both Italian and French water to be extremely palatable and felt NO necessity to BUY the water. But every time I stood in a supermarket queue, most other purchasers had large bundles of large bottles of water. Bizarre!

BTW, the Italians have even less reason for buying water because everywhere you go there, there are taps and free flowing water at every corner. Cool, fresh, and exquisite!

But we did have a couple of less than spectacular meals. One was when we lunched at Le Ciel de Paris an upmarket restaurant on the 56th floor of Tour Montparnasse. The tower is a strikingly ugly skyscraper plonked right in the middle of low-storied Paris. Word has it that Parisians think the best thing about the restaurant is that you can't see the tower. But the restaurant, which sees itself as a seriously upmarket, innovative, and contemporary high-dining location, was like so many others in stunning places. Overpriced, food that didn't quite match it's pretensions, and service staff so busy being haughty that they failed to serve effectively! SOOOO lucky we weren't able to get a booking there on the night of my birthday.

Despite our little rule of thumb about side street restaurants, there was one of those where we had roast chicken that was drier and more overcooked than even I can stuff up a dish, and the service was abysmal. No surprise that the Tarte Tatin(upturned apple tart) was a sloppy splodge on the plate really. I guess it was the exception to prove the rule!

Posted by OwenGadflies 00:25 Archived in France Tagged food paris france restaurants cuisine wine Comments (0)

Musing at Musees

We Re-Engage With Art

Last time we went to Paris I felt slightly embarassed when I returned and admitted we hadn't been to The Louvre.

We'd only visited one art gallery, the Musee Rodin. But it had been a quite deliberate decision. The galleries take time, of which we had only limited amounts. And there are plenty of absolutely iconic places in Paris that aren't the keepers of massive art collections. So we visited the Eiffel Tower, The Arc de Triomphe, Notre Dame Cathedral, Champs Elysees, etc etc.

BTW the Musee Rodin has a collection of Rodin's brass sculptures in beautiful garden surroundings and we fell in love with it! It was so fantastic, it was on our wishlist to return there this time. It holds Rodin's famous sculpture The Thinker, the amazing Gates of Hell, and the evocative Burghers of Calais, amongst other beautiful pieces! Sadly our return will have to wait for our NEXT TRIP - oh yes there'll be another visit to Paris! No Question! Here's some photos from the Rodin Sculpture Garden on our last trip.


But with 15 days scheduled in Paris this time, I/we had a big wishlist of things we wanted to see.

Amongst them were the significant galleries or Musees. Of course top of the list was the Louvre, and the Musee d'Orsay, followed by the Musee de l'Orangerie and the Musee Marmottan. As we explored Montmartre, we also discovered the Espace Dali, which Phil Owen the Dali fan, went and explored.

I so admire my beloved husband, he is not an avid art fan by any means, just like he's not a Christian and not "into" Churches. But this gorgeous boy explored with me every one of these galleries and Churches I've waited so many years to see. And he either thoroughly enjoyed them or, at the very least, found things he learned and was intrigued by in every setting! He's brilliant. But history is fascinating, and that's what we've spent these weeks exploring.

Like the Uffizi in Florence, The Louvre has something like 35,000 objets d'art in their collection and only a portion is on show, so seeing everything is IMPOSSIBLE!! You could spend a week there and still only see a small percentage! And again like our first visit to the Uffizi, we decided to do a tour to capture the must-sees in a doable-sized trek.

To bring you up to speed: By the time I had arrived in Paris, the fall in Bordeaux had caused a large fluid-filled cyst in my knee. My kneecap was floating on top of this fluid and when I went to straighten my leg, my kneecap would be out of position and would have to grind back into place! Quite excruciating! In the time it takes to pop back into place, and you are transferring your weight onto that leg, your knee collapses under you! So I was walking hobbling with a walking stick. Sadly, I had to be really practical about what I could achieve without missing out all together! I became very fond of my 1kg packs of peas kept in the freezer in our apartment as they were what would get me through each day. We'd head out for a while then head home for me to ice my knee and get it working again before our next foray into Paris.


So a 3 hour tour of the Louvre was booked. We were part of a group of 6 with a guide so you skip the queue and also get priority and the assistance (to some extent) of the attendants. We saw some beautiful pieces of Greek and Roman sculpture, some amazing and famous paintings, some fascinating objects of French royal history, and of course the Mona Lisa! We learned heaps and it was definitely worth the price of the tour.


Even more so, when my guide sent the other 5 off to join the crowd pushing their way towards the Mona Lisa and I got taken to the guard at the side. With an explanation of my disability and a pointing to my stick, the guard nods and steps back and suddenly I am walking and standing, not once but twice, in front of the crowd and in front of the barrier face to face with the Mona Lisa. I suddenly decided there were definite advantages to falling over and stuffing up your knee! I was grinning from ear to ear. If you hadn't ever heard, the Mona Lisa is actually quite small (77 cm × 53 cm = 30 in × 21 in) and predictably draws a massive crowd, so getting up close and personal was a fantastic opportunity.


Despite my desire to return and see other things at the Louvre, my overall sense was that I had enjoyed the works in the Uffizi more than those I saw in the Louvre. But then again I saw so little it's a hard call!

Our first foray into the galleries had been a few days after our arrival and we turned up at the Tuileries Gardens on a Sunday afternoon at 2 pm with the intention of going to the Musee de l'Orangerie. The queue was approximately 2 hours long! After failing to buy tickets online on the spot, we left the queue (feeling somewhat chastenedand silly) and hopped a bus out to the Musee Marmottan which was about 20 mins ride out of Central Paris. No queues here, and what's more I was at the place I most wanted to see. The Marmottan is primarily devoted to Monet's work. And delightfully it also contained some of the works of a lesser-known female Impressionist Berthe Morisot, on whose work I have had a crush for a long time. Talk about happy as a pig in shit, even if I did have to lug the dodgy floppy knee up and down countless stairs to see them!

By the time we returned to l'Orangerie we had learned our lesson and booked and collected our tickets elsewhere! Apart from the temporary exhibition they were holding of Frida Kahlo (she of the mono-brow!), L'Orangerie is most famous for it's exhibition of Monet's enormous elliptically shaped Nymphaea or Water Lilies. These are in 2 massive purpose-built rooms and the paintings which were painted OUTSIDE, are enormous and take up the whole walls of these two rooms. 3 paintings in 1 room and 4 in the other. This photo and article from the Guardian might give you some idea of the immensity of what I'm talking about! http://www.theguardian.com/world/2006/may/03/arts.france| (< ERROR: the link title is too long!)

We just sat there speechless looking at these immense and exquisite works, awestruck by Monet's magic.

But we'd already seen his Magic at work when we had been to the Musee d'Orsay which is devoted entirely to works of all kinds of art from the period between the mid-19th century and about 1920. So it includes a lot of Impressionist works as the Impressionists were predominantly a late 19th century phenomenon in art. It is all housed in a beautiful old railway station built at the turn of the 20th century, so quite young by a lot of Paris standards! Again we had a tour, and again saw the absolute highlights! But again, I MUST go back so I can see so much more!!!! (God I adore Paris!!!) I could happily spend a whole day there. I carefully arranged for this visit to be on my birthday as I knew I was going to just LOVE the experience and I did! It was a wonderful way to spend my birthday surrounded by art from my most favoured era.

Posted by OwenGadflies 23:05 Archived in France Tagged art paris france sculpture louvre monet rodin mona_lisa musee_d'orsay musee_marmottan impressionists l'orangerie Comments (0)

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