Tuesday morning was…wait for it…another bitterly cold morning! Quel surprise! Well, undaunted, our plan for the day was to see the Musée d’Orsay, where all the Impressionists can be found, lunch, then to the Arc de Triomphe and Champs Elysées.
We zipped along on our faithful bus #69 to the museum, (well, except for the fact that we missed the stop, so had to walk back a few blocks…), and slipped right in using our trusty museum passes.
There’s not much to say about this museum, except that it’s just the most amazing collection. I found myself absolutely transported. Also extremely impressive were the several classes of around 4th grade school children sitting on the floor in front of the Van Gogh, or the Monet, or the Gaugin, having what makes this painter special – how he uses light, or some technique, etc. -explained to them. Boy, don’t I wish I’d had the same treatment as a child! For me at that age, a museum was just a boring place where I couldn’t run around and make a lot of noise!!
Lunch was planned for a little bistro I’d read about on the internet. A bit of a walk from the museum, but not terrible…although on this bitterly cold and somewhat windy day, we started to think otherwise.
As we’ve found with some other little gems, the bistro was unassumingly tucked in on a mixed-use street. It’s not far from the Medical College of Paris. We got there around 11:50, and I don’t think they really open for lunch until noon. For us, the need to get out of the cold was intense, and the waiter who was shivering outside having a cigarette invited us in to be seated and wait in warmth for lunch service to begin. It was another fantastic meal, and again, very affordable. And with excellent, friendly service. And no other Americans. We have really been struck with luck in the restaurant department!
After lunch, we took several metros (trying to stay out of the cold and walk as little outside as possible!) to the Arc de Triomphe. This is one impressive monument! You can have the Champs Elysées, for all I care, but the Arc is magnificent!
We debated going up into the Arc, which is free with our museum passes, and finally decided to brave it. Well, we walked about a third of the way up the spiral staircase, and both agreed that this was lunacy – just TOO many steps! – back down we came. When I explained to the official that the walk was too much for us, he offered that there was an elevator he’d send down for us. Pas de probleme!!
I must say that we even debated taking the elevator, knowing just how cold it was, and imagining how exposed we’d be, but the elevator operator talked us into it. Good move! It was truly spectacular!!! A 360° view of Paris, and somehow not too cold, either. Go figure!
We took the metro home afterwards, and planned to pick up another delicious rotisserie chicken – but it was CLOSED again!!! Upon closer inspection, we discovered that they would re-open at 4:00, so our dinner plan was saved!
Our apartment had a combo washer/dryer, and it was definitely time to do some laundry, so we got that going. We decided to turn on our GPS units to let them find the satellites before we would be needing one of them on Saturday to drive to Bandol – after having had some difficulty with GPS units in England, we wanted to avert any last-minute problems. SO…to cut to the chase, neither of our Garmin units would find the satellites, even when we took them outside into the square. Time to do something else…
We had another delicious dinner of the chicken, bread, etc…and decided to sleep on the GPS issue. Stay tuned!