Sunday ... Musee l'Orangarie, rue Montorgueil, Jardin de Arsenal and a few surprises .....
06.05.2012 - 25.05.2012 11 °C
Sunday, 6 May
A visit to the Louvre has escaped me again!!! I guess this means I will have to return in the future! No immediate plans tho. Note to self ....... focus on what you HAVE seen and done. My feeling about The Louvre and Palace of Versailles is that they are sooooo huge that even a day spent at each (perhaps several days) would not do these magnificent places the justice and time they deserve.
So, starting the day at Musee l'Orangerie, where the queue was not too long, I was in a awe of Monet's four huge canvases of waterlillies and the pond at Giverny. Having been bathed in the light of his studio at Giverny on Tuesday, which was about the size and height of my entire house, and seen his inspirational environment, I can understand why he wished to capture it in art work. The oval shapes of the Museum gallery walls are just perfect for transending into the art. The croaking of the frogs in the pond at Giverny are deafening, the lily pads float calmly on the surface, until a frog leaps or dives and the ripples wave out to concentric circles. These features are all captured in the paintings in the oval galleries. I am sure I saw a frog in places in the paintings. There was also a Debusssy exhibition featured at the same time. There was too much to take in and I had experienced what I wanted so headed off to visit rue Montorgueil in the 1st Arrondisement - this rue featured in a book loaned to me by Sue, called "Almost French". This rue was so so Parisien, even lateish on a Sunday afternoon. Absorbing the culture of this area and taking photos of the iron railings and fortunately spotting a handy Metro station, I then caught the metro to Bastille so I could visit the Jardin de l'Arsenal that Marilynn has described. A disused railway line given a second life as a garden and children's play area along side a little loch of the Seine where boats were moored.
Unfortunately, or fortunately, the access to the Jardin was blocked by an antique market. This comprised row after row of white tents along both sides of the loch. The signs advised it would open on 7 May at 11am but there were already people shopping and window shopping. On asking if I could buy an entry ticket now, I was told no, because there was only two hours before it was to close as The Bastille was filling up with people/protestors/police/ tv camera crews. Apparently there had been an election the day before and the current President, Nicholas Sarkosy (who evidently is not well liked) was voted out of office by a swing of only 4%.
Ok, I had two hours to try my luck to get into this antique market before it would become a bit too rowdy and dangerous for me to stay in the area. The tents had high metal railings around them with heavy sandbags to keep them in position with some security bodies to keep out the riff-raff. They seemed more interested in what was happening at the Place de Bastille, smoking and making jokes to one another. Seizing an opportunity at an open piece of fencing, I slipped into the antique market unnoticed. It was a very comprehensive market, items of beautiful French furniture, several sewing boxes; avec et sans legs,(we will only ever see these in Australia at exhorbatant prices) but I was just window shopping and taking in what was on offer. Expensive and gorgeous crockery, jewelry, paintings, sewing tools, manchester, embroidery, etc. This was opening night because the stallholders were drinking champagne. No one stopped me before it was time to head out of the Bastille as things were getting crazy. The metro trains were full of people heading to the Bastille. On television last night, the telecast resembled our own election nights, with wall-to- wall, non-stop political talk and the new President's address to the nation. He was in a southern area of France and had to travel to Paris last night, so there was a motorcade of police vehicles, tv crews on motor scooters for an hour until he reached the nearest airport to catch the train to Paris. Fancy, me being right in the thick of it, totally clueless and so absorbed in my own world!
Safely in the door of the apartment .... it was bedtime and time to pack up again as I leave France and catch the Eurostar to London in the morning to deliver Vicki's hug and kiss to David. Got to get to Paris Gare du Nord and don't fancy doing it via the Metro with their lack of escalators and lifts. I've seen lots of taxis hurtling up and down rue de la Convention at the end of my street so shouldn't be an issue at mid-morning.
Over and out. Thank you for reading this blog. Love Lyn xxx