Wrapping up in old Pair-ree
Today was my last day in Paris, so I wanted to experience as much as possible. Here's the quick rundown of a long and busy day.
Walked to the Louvre and said a quick thank you to Rick Steve's guide book for pointing out the side doors and helping me avoid a line that was almost a mile long and cold! Any of you who have ever visited the Louvre know that you could spend a week there and not see it all, so I chose the first floor Italian and Spanish schools of painting and the Apollo Gallery of sculptures for my visit today. I will have to visit 7 more times to see the rest of the museum someday. :) I saw the little Mona Lisa and so many works of art I have studied in art history, that it felt like I won a backstage pass to the biggest event in centuries and centuries.
Next was the Museum D'Orsay, which picks up where the Louvre leaves off in time. I saw everything from Monet, Van Gogh, Manet, Degas, Renoir, Bouguereau, Whistler and more. I hit all exhibits on both floors and actually enjoyed this museum more than the Louvre. The renovated train station and amazing large paintings and sculptures looked right at home in such a grand atmosphere.
Last museum on the list today was Museum Rodin. This is a mansion called Hotel Biron and surrounding gardens and grounds that have been renovated into a museum. The most famous piece of art is "The Thinker" (Le Penseur) and I had fun taking pictures with him. :)
Finally, as if that weren't enough for one day, I decided to walk to the Sacre Coeur Basillica (sacred heart) much further north and up a hill from the main area in Paris. (no small feat) and took the tram up the steepest part of the hill versus climbing a million or so stairs. I got there just in time for Mass at 6pm and feel so grateful to my Grandma and Mother for letting me know the Mass growing up. No Matter where I go in the world I fit right in at church. The meaning of the word catholic to mean "universal" really clicked in my head. Lit a candle and prayed my thank you's for the day.
Figured out how to take the metro back to my hotel and had a great last dinner at Au Bouquet Saint Paul. Soup du jour (a l'oignon gratinee), wine, fresh baguette and the most rich and warm chocolate cake I'll probably ever try.
Everything from my lower back downward aches from carrying around my camera bag and walking all day, but it was more than worth it. I discovered I feel very comfortable in Paris despite the fact that I speak no French. I loved getting to enjoy THREE museums for FREE today (first Sunday of the month free to everyone!) and going at my own pace. Goodnight Paris. Merci. Au revoir.
Tomorrow - Garmisch, Germany where I hope to see some lieder-hosen, the snow capped Alps, and some schnitzel.