Posts Tagged ‘museums’

Musee d’Orsay

June 2, 2014

Having been put off by the long queues for every other attraction, I was very keen to visit the Musee d’Orsay, one of my favourite places in Paris.  I resolved to be there before it opened, prepared to wait in line.  Pearl wanted to come with me, and we had a look at some of the museum’s paintings online so she had some idea of what to expect.

Musee d'Orsay

Musee d’Orsay

This morning as we got ready to go, Babess declared that she wanted to join us.  Fainjin was not at all interested, warning her darkly that it was a “just a looking-at museum, you know” but she was undeterred.

So we set off via metro to the Place de la Concorde with its Egyptian obelisk, and walked from there to the museum.  We arrived a little later than I had hoped, only 5 min before opening, and the line was daunting indeed.  But we found the end and joined it, and watched it grow rapidly behind us.  Then the museum opened, and the queue moved rapidly doorwards.  We were inside by 10am, only half an hour after opening.

That’s when I realised that today is the first Sunday of the month, so entry to the museum is free!  Hooray for that.  Babess pointed out a van Gogh exhibition, which was also free for the day, so we hopped in there first thing.  It was crowded but manageable, and the girls loved the richly glowing paintings.  From there we went upstairs and feasted our eyes on the Impressionists.  Pearl recognised a number of Monet paintings from various calendars and greeting cards she has seen.

Pearl looks out through the clock face towards Sacre Coeur

Pearl looks out through the clock face towards Sacre Coeur

As we left, we saw long lines waiting to see the van Gogh exhibition and thanked Babess for her prescience in asking to go in early.  Of course we had to peruse the gift shop on our way out and find some postcards and prints to take home.

From there we walked quite a long way to meet The Dad and Fainjin at Pont Neuf.  They had spent a very pleasant morning at the playground and gardens at the Tuileries.  We all got icecreams and took our seats aboard a cruise boat for a one-hour river tour.  It was a great way to see central Paris for an hour without getting sore feet!

View of Notre Dame from the river, looking downstream

View of Notre Dame from the river, looking downstream

It was only early afternoon when we were done, but we’ve come home for lunch and a restful afternoon – we all find the crowds very tiring and we’ve done a lot of walking.  We got some lunch at the Marche des Enfants Rouges again (The Dad and I would probably hang around there for some of the more exotic offerings if we didn’t have the kids with us!) and we’re enjoying just hanging out in our apartment and listening to the street noise below.

© UpsideBackwards 2014.

Museum fatigue

May 31, 2011

“It’s very sad,” I said to myself as I gazed wearily about a hall in the Victoria & Albert Museum, “that the human mind seems to have a finite capacity to absorb beauty in a set period of time.”

Plaster cast of Trajan's column, V&A Museum, London

We had been to the Science Museum in the morning.  We all (our friend C was with us) loved Launchpad, an interactive learning area full of very cool things to see and do.  Pearl was less impressed with the Mathematics section, despite the amazing beauty of models like this:

Uniform polyhedra at London's Science Museum

We ate at the museum’s little cafe, then went across the road to the V&A.  We just wandered, looking at all the wonderful things, and gazing open-mouthed at the enormous ceramic collection.

After a while, our brains went into overload and we just couldn’t look at wonderful things any more.  The marble floors (I think?) were making my sore leg ache, too.

So we took the tube and went to Buckingham Palace to see where the Queen lives.  She wasn’t home, so we didn’t knock on the door.  Handy, that flag system.  We collected ice-creams from a kiosk in St James’s Park, and wandered along the lake towards Horse Guards Parade.

We got there at just the right time to see the Changing of the Guard, lots of horses and shouting and Pearl was thrilled.

The Horse Guards, London

And then, worn out but still exhilarated by all we had seen, we scoured some tourist shops for obligatory postcards and SMALL! souvenirs, then took C out for dinner on The Strand.  My ambitions of a show or night-time ride on the London Eye were foiled by general exhaustion and the need to get up early in the morning to get our next plane.

© UpsideBackwards 2011.

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