Sunday, 8 October 2017

Musee d’Orsay (Sunday 8th October 2017)

We had agreed to meet Emily at her flat so we could take over a parcel for her to open on her 25th birthday on October 26th. As we stepped out the door of the hotel we were greeted with the sight of a big fresgh produce market across the street. It was just too good to miss so over we headed. There were all sorts of fresh things for sale. Fruit and vegetables, meats, smallgoods, fresh fish, eggs, cheeses, breads, pastries, flans, tarts and the list goes on and on. Both sides of the broad footpath were lines with stalls that stretched 100 metres down Avenue Daumesnil, It was packed with local shoppers stocking up for the week. It struck me as somewhat incongruous to see this ancient Parisian ritual in full swing with sales being completed on cordless, mobile EFTPOS machines.

Anyway, with some good old-fashioned cash we bought a cooked chook, some cheeses, including genuine Rochefort blue cheese, raspberries and a couple of baguettes for lunch.

Shopping done, we jumped on the Metro and arrived 30 minutes later at Emily’s flat. We invited ourselves up and gave her her box of goodies, not to be opened until her birthday. The next stop was the cafe next door for a coffee. Emily has come to drinking double espresso coffee because she doesn’t like the milk in Paris.

Lunch was going to be in the Jardin des Tuileries down by Seine so back on the Metro we hopped and popped up at the Pyramides station on the Avenue de l’Opera. A short walk and we were the gardens where we found a few chairs (they’re scattered everywhere because stepping on the lawn is not allowed), moved them to the sun and enjoyed our market lunch with a bottle of Perrier (what else!).

Just across the Seine from the Jardin des Tuileries is the Musee d’Orsay. Once a train station used to connect Paris with the south west of France it was converted by Francois Mitterand into an art gallery/museum. There was still a queue to get it but it was moving quickly, only slowed down by security procedures. For just EUR 12.00 ea (Emily has free access to everything in France, being a student) we dropped our backpack and walked into the main exhibition hall where trains once ran. What a magnificent building it is, worth the price of entry just to see the building. Indeed, a work of art in itself.

The first gallery we visited was one dedicated to the work of van Gogh where we saw many of his famous originals up close, like I’m talking a pane of glass between your nose and the brush-strokes! To our surprise, cameras were allowed, just no flash so we got lots of shots of many famous paintings. On through the galleries we went where we found famous art by Gauguin, Renior and many others. Each gallery focused on a particular style of painting and gave a brief explanation of the style and the artists who developed it and used it.
Other galleries has sculpture and other still had exhibitions of furniture by famous designers. The museum is spread over five levels, with a restaurant on each of the second and fifth levels. We stopped on the fifth for afternoon team. As a backdrop this restaurant has one of the two massive clocks on the face of building. One sits and dines immediately behind the clock face and can gaze through the clear glass to Paris below.

The restaurant was adjacent to the the Impressionists gallery. I’ve always been a fan of this style. Once again it was truly awesome to be able to get up close and personal with the original work of the likes of Monet, Renoir, Degas and Cézanne. Didn’t see any Roberts, McCubbins or Streetons in there. I suppose the museum must be saving up to buy them!

At 6:00pm the museum closed so we departed after a very enjoyable afternoon. Emily came with us back to Avenue Daumesnil where we had dinner in an Italian restaurant near the Hotel. Talk about multiculturalism! We had an Indian waiter serve Italian cuisine in a restaurant in France to three Australian tourists. While at dinner Emily’s new German friends invited her and Kerry and me to a bar in Montparnasse to watch Germany plays Azerbaijan in a World Cup qualifier. So, as exhausted as we were we went along anyway. Chances to do these sorts of things don’t come along everyday. Off we went down into the Metro once more, this time popping up at the huge Montparnsse-Bienvenue station. It had he longest travelator I’ve ever seen – and it was broken!

In a nearby bar we met Lisa and Julia, both from near Hamburg, both studying Law at Sciences Po and both lovely girls. Oh, and both mad supporters of the German National team! We had a drink with them and them bade them farewell as we were both very tired and had a long journey back to Porte Doree.


  1. Sounds like the market was a big event too! Yum - all that delicious food and good company in a lovely location to share it with. 😃

  2. With so many activities on offer, and so many interesting places to walk to, do I detect a hint of tiredness creeping in? You are certainly covering a lot in a short space of time. If the milk's not to Emily's taste, may I suggest trying a Vietnamese style of coffee - it has a small amount of sweetened condensed milk. Can be a bit sweet if too much SCM is used though. Or maybe a shot of Baileys as milk :)

  3. Oh my gosh, all the places you've mentioned we have visited, so I've walked down memory lane. Terrific pics of you all. You all look so well and happy!

  4. Greetings from lisa :-) so blessed that I met you both! I hope you are having a blast in Italy: have as much pizza, pasta and gelato as you can think of! Also: go Deutschland 🇩🇪 World Cup winners 2018;)