Our Wednesday in Paris started slowly as we booked a tour online for a Thursday afternoon trip to Monet’s Gardens at Giverny and then wandered down toward the Republique Metro to go across town to Trocadero where we knew that there would be a good view back across the river to the Eiffel Tower.
On the way, we noticed that our street was full of shiny black cars and cabs, and, just around the corner there was a large crowd of very trendily dressed people emerging from the Espace Modem, a design space in this neighbourhood which is full of high end boutiques and fashion stores. We snapped a few people who looked interesting and it turns out that they were all attending a showing of 2015 Spring Summer fashions for Cedric Charlier.
In the midst of all of the hurly burly, in what seemed to typify the ‘Paris style,’ a nicely dressed young woman rode calmly down the street on her bike; bag over one shoulder and hair flowing. As the street gradually cleared, we walked the remaining hundred metres to the Metro and clattered through the tunnels to emerge at Trocadero, on the Western bank of the Seine and with the promised great view of the Tower, despite the haze.
After taking a few obligatory shots, and a coffee stop, it was time to pick up a couple of velibs from a nearby rack and find our way down to the bridge across the Seine and to the very base of the Eiffel Tower. There seemed to be a heightened sense of security there as a few soldiers in red berets walked about with automatic weapons in the port position, and a large number of security men were evident.
We docked our bikes and waited the obligatory five minutes before releasing two more bikes and riding back around the cycleway which follows the Seine. We were able to cross and head down a ramp to ride along the river’s edge, past cruise boats and pop up activities taking place.
Following the river, we ended up, at the end of the next 30 minutes, docking our bikes and finding that we were only a hundred metres from the Musee d’Orsay.
What better time for a visit than the present?
There were no queues to speak of and we were then able to spend some time seeing some great paintings and sculptures as well as feeling the scale of the building which was previously a railway station.
It was especially magnificent to see the colour and glow which is still there in Van Gogh’s work and the wonderful colours of Monet and Sisley, along with Pissarro a other Impressionists.
It was interesting that over the last decade we have also seen a good selection of these works in various travelling exhibitions in Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne and Brisbane.
We ran into another couple that we know from Sydney while admiring the view and then headed back downstairs and across the road to find another couple of bikes to ride across the Seine and into the square surrounded by the Louvre. There’s a short look at Lynette and the Louvre below.
Once again, the bikes proved what a great option they are as we cruised past crowds and then along to Les Halles and through the bright and lively gardens which have been dedicated to Nelson Mandela.
It was then a slow wander home through the city streets before a sudden burst of rain compelled us to seek shelter at a restaurant and have some dinner at the same time.
Dinner finished, and rain cleared, we walked home to find another fashion opening event taking place in the small boutique next to our front door.
Thursday will be our last day here before getting the TGV to Barcelona with an early start at 7.15am from Gare de Lyon. We’ll be on a bus to Giverny on Thursday afternoon and a look at Monet’s home and gardens.