Oh! What a beautiful morning!

After our tasty breakfast, we caught an Uber to the Museé D’Orsay, arriving about 9:10 for a 9:30 opening. Our plan to avoid the crowds worked well and we had easy access to the display of Impressionist art on the 5th floor. This museum has an extensive & amazing collection. I think I love it more than any other. Until this week, my favourite artist has been Camille Pissarro but I think now he has to move to second place.

Monet’s range of work and the quantity that he produced blows me away. Here’s some of my favourite pieces from this museum with the first one being my pick of all the art we have seen in these three days. I’d love to have it hanging on my wall at home.

My family gave me a print of the Japanese bridge at Giverny for my birthday last year.

We learnt at Giverny that Monet loved trains and railway stations as is evidenced by his paintings of Saint-Lazare Station. Apparently he was painting there one day and wanted a certain effect so he caused the trains to be held in the station with their engines stoked so he could paint it. Pity the passengers who arrived home late!

Here’s a Pissarro painting that I really liked & one by Renoir of two beautiful girls playing piano. This made us think of our two beautiful, pianist granddaughters back in Brisbane.

We then went for a leisurely stroll across to the Musée de L’Orangerie in the Tuileries Garden, walking over the top of runners participating in the Paris Marathon.

This museum was designed and built by Monet in 1905 to house his beautiful large circular paintings representing his beloved water lilies in the four seasons. It is fabulous. He built it so that Parisians would have somewhere quiet to sit and relax. It is still very soothing today. The paintings cover the rounded walls of the circular rooms and are stunning. I don’t think my photography does them justice.

We wandered off and found lunch at a restaurant called ‘Flottes’. The staff were so friendly and were having so much fun, laughing and joking with each other, that it made it a very pleasant experience. It was obviously an old restaurant and was very busy. David ate moules et frites and I had a salmon, mango and avocado salad. For dessert David went for a little drama with crepes Suzette while I had my old favourite, rice pudding.

Walking off our lunch, we came to Galleries Lafayette. What a huge shop in an amazing building! There must be a playground in the roof as there seemed to be children jumping on some sort of jumping castle.

We couldn’t get over the queues of people lined up outside the Gucci and Louis Vuitton stores waiting to go in to spend their cash. Not us, though, it was time for home. we had had a morning filled with beauty. How lucky are we?

Monet’s Garden

The ennui of 28 hours of flight across the world disappeared as if by magic this morning when we wandered through the beautiful gardens of Claude Monet at Giverny.

We first visited Paris in 2013 when we celebrated my birthday at the Moulin Rouge with my daughter, Jac, and eight friends from home. What a memorable night. It was on that trip that I discovered my love for the Impressionists and their beautiful work at the Museé D’Orsay; firstly Pissarro and then Monet. Jac, with two years experience as a Contiki Tour Manager, was our guide to Paris, her favourite city and she shared her delight with us. At Museé de L’Orangerie, I was thrilled by Monet’s beautiful water lilies. I sat and contemplated those amazing paintings on the walls of the two oval rooms purpose-built by Monet for his art work. I loved them and wanted to visit his gardens to see what inspired him. But, alas, we were out of time.

We’ve returned to Paris in order to visit those gardens so, after our very early breakfast – we’d woken at 4am as you do when you are suffering from jet lag- we joined the thousands of others on the Paris metro to get to Saint-Lazare station to catch the train to Vernon & the shuttle bus to Giverny.

We weren’t disappointed. The spring flowers were out in full – tulips, daffodils, pansies, primula ……. and they were magnificent as you can see in the pictures. The water lilies were not in flower but the ponds were still beautiful and so calming even though the crowds were starting to build. I’m so glad we arrived just after opening at 9:30.

We enjoyed visiting his studio and seeing inside his home. It reminded us of our visit to the home and studio of Joaquín Sorollo in Madrid.

By this stage, we needed sustenance & warming up as, although the sun was very pleasant, the temperature was about 5 degrees. So we found hot chocolate and tarte tatin and it was delicious.

We retraced our steps to our Paris home but, before coming in, we visited the very friendly restaurant across the street for a very late lunch and then it was home for a nap. We’ve a lovely little apartment just across the river from the Eiffel Tower. It’s up in the attic on the 6th floor. Thankfully there is a lift and, even though it is tiny and antiquated, it works well. We have a great view of the Paris skyline.

It has been a wonderful first day in Paris.