Yes, you guessed it, 15 out of 15. Though when it did rain today it did not affect us. It is definitely the best weather we have had in Paris today. And for those of you who didn’t know, it is Bastille Day in France. We thought we would chance it and head for the Musee d’Orsay and hoped that the crowds would not be there as well. When we left the hotel we wondered where everyone was. The road in front of our hotel was blocked off totally even to pedestrians. It was fantastic. We walked to the museum and the roads around there were also closed off and used for parking for the buses carrying the people involved in the parade. We didn’t get to the see the parade but we did see the troops in their full uniforms heading back to their respective buses. Helen commented “Nothing like a Frenchman in a uniform” and then added “Nothing like a Frenchman out of a uniform as well”! Fortunately she is married to a man so much better looking than any Frenchman that I have no need to worry.
The Musee d’Orsay was empty. No line of people to go through security. No line of people to buy tickets. A limited number of people inside. Definitely the best time to visit the museum. We went to the top floor to look at the Impressionists. Michael, Stephen and Lara breezed through the whole floor in about the time it took Helen, Chloe and I to do the first room. Some people have no culture. Sorry Bryan & Sharon, I did try but to no avail. Bad influence of my son I think. There were some fantastic paintings again. I definitely love Monet paintings. Anyone wanting to give me a gift, give me a Monet. Some of the pointillism art was also absolutely brilliant. I particularly liked Maximillien Luce’s works in this regard. You’re not allowed to take photos inside the museum but I only saw that after taking the photo. It is situated in a old train station and is a beautiful building without all the art which makes it even more impressive. I am not much of a statue person but one of Rodin’s of a man was extremely good. The other artist that I was really impressed with (pun for Rick) was Degas. The attention to detail in his artwork was incredible.
After the museum we decided to walk to Pont de Neuf and catch a boat ride down the Seine. We just missed the 12pm one and so had to wait for the 12:45pm. During this time it rained but we were sitting under the covering so it made no difference to us. The trip gave a slightly different view of Paris but in my view wasn’t particularly exciting and not something I would do again actually. I did finally manage to get a photo of Lara though.
We had our usual chilled afternoon. Stephen and the girls went our souvenir shopping. I made sure he looked after Chloe. If you have seen the movie ‘Taken’ and have a daughter then you will know why I was particularly concerned about Chloe. We then had our final dinner in Paris in an Italian restaurant. Yes, we do understand the irony. We had tried to go to this restaurant 2 nights previously and couldn’t get in because they were full. And it was very conveniently situated near the hotel and we were hungry. As usual, my choice was excellent and Chloe also seemed happy. The rest of them had some complaint though about their pizza’s or pastas. Usual story. I should do the ordering for everyone.
As it is Bastille Day, there are always fireworks around the Eiffel Tower. They start at around 11pm (otherwise it isn’t dark enough yet) and last for around 30 minutes. We are a reasonable distance from the Eiffel Tower but we walked up to the Louvre/Tuilleries Garden and watched from there. They were quite spectacular. There were numerous people all with the same idea as us (as you can sort of see). They start by turning the Eiffel Tower lights off totally and then eventually they come on and twinkle (as you see them in the photo). The fireworks theme was ‘Disco’ and we did see earlier a giant disco ball hanging from the Eiffel Tower (you can see it in the photo from the boat actually). Helen remarked (after watching the fireworks for about 20 minutes) that if the theme was ‘Disco’ then all other fireworks she has seen must also have had a ‘Disco’ theme.
This was our last night in Paris and France. I do have some ‘thoughts/remarks’ about Paris and France but I think I will send those as a special blog tomorrow sometime. Vive la France!