Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Day 2:

After a less than refreshing night of sleep, I woke-up early and headed to the famous Musee d'Orsay. Housed in a decommission train station along the Seine, this museum was created to house all of the city's impressionist art. This is where you go if you want to see Monet, Degas, Renoir, etc. Alright, I admit that I am labeling myself as one of the world's biggest dorks when I say this: as I was waiting in line for the museum to open I was shaking with excitement! It took three and a half hours, but I did it. The first hour went well, but when that third hour hit and I realized I was barely halfway through and only just getting to the "good stuff," I had a significant mental moment. All I could do was plop down in the nearest chair and stare at the painting across the way. It took ten minutes to realize that I had been staring at Manet's "Le dejeuner sur l'herbe" (the one with the two naked ladies eating lunch with the two guys in black suits). I can say with complete sincerity that this is the best museum EVER! I wont go into my notes on the individual paintings (not being an artist, many of my scribbles read "So cool!" and "Bigger than I thought!") saving you any more boredom.

Then it was time for a break - off to lunch in the left bank. I found a restaurant near-by called Polidor (actually, it turns out, this restaurant is suggested in Rick). I was a bit nervous because I wanted the menu de midi (lunch menu) and the special was kidney of some sort. However, after eating the lovely starter salad and half of my petite caraf of wine, I was ready for whatever they put in front of me! Actually, it wasn't half bad... anything would taste good in that sause. The restaurant itself was great - there are many long tables where you find any empty seat. The room itself seems unchanged since it was opened in 1845, with tobacco stained walls and dark beams on the ceiling. Lots of noise, lots of wine. In fact, I am sure that I was the only foreigner there! Yeah! For desert I had the caramel custard and a coffee. All of this for only 15 euros - I can't get that kind of deal in Nantes.

Following this large lunch, I wandered through the sights of the left bank - Luxemburg (sp?) Gardens, churches, theatres, the hotel in which Oscar Wilde died, and the cafe where Dumas wrote Les Mis which stands next to the cafe where Hemingway wrote A Farewell to Arms while looking at a third cafe where Sartre, Beauvoir, and Camus came to create existentialism. In the fading light I headed in the direction of the Eiffel Tower just as the clock struck 7pm . All of the sudden, thousands of strobe lights started flashing manicly on the tower itself. From the top view-point the entire city and its famous lights spread out before you. From there everything is clean and beautiful. Around 9 I headed back to the hostel, a cheap gyro in tow, for a well deserved break and sleep.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That's it- I'm meeting you in Paris sometime in the next few months! Seriously, we'll meet up and I will gladly follow you anywhere and everywhere around the city. What do you say?