We have had quite a few visitors lately. The best part for me and Hugh is that each guest has interests that lead to new explorations and adventures for us. A recent guest whose first ever visit to Paris had a few things on his agenda: visit Notre Dame, the Louvre, the Rodin museum, the Musée d’Orsay, a boat ride under the bridges of the Seine, a visit to the Arc de Triomphe, the Eiffel Tower, dining at the Grand Colbert (the restaurant made famous by the Diane Keaton-Jack Nicholson movie “Something’s Gotta Give”), a cooking class at La Cuisine cooking school, and a modern Architectural walking tour.
Even though our apartment is right next to the Seine, and we walk along it and cross the many bridges with regularity, we had not previously taken a boat ride. We found the hour long trip most enjoyable and now plan to take one at night too. Seeing the historical buildings lining the Seine from the boat perspective was exciting and so much easier than walking! There is a boarding point within a block of our apartment too-how great is that!
The visit to the Rodin museum was a first for us too. The gardens and outdoor and indoor sculptures were awe inspiring. I had not known that “The Thinker” would be mounted high on a pedestal nor that it was so large. Our friend was moved to tears by the sculpture of “The Kiss” which was truly beautiful. The day we visited, a wedding event was being staged in the gardens. We wished we could be guests for that enchanting event.
I organized a special private Louvre Tour through an excellent tour company, Paris Walks. Even though Hugh and I had a previous Louvre Tour, this one was even better. Our guide was passionate about art history and because we were so interested and she was having such a wonderful time our tour was extended almost an hour. Having a guide for the Louvre in my opinion is a must- it is just too overwhelming to do on your own. With a guide you can skip the waiting lines, go directly to the best areas and get an extensive history lesson.
Musée d’Orsay is a magical place. Just being inside the bulding and seeing the light stream through the high celings gives me a euphoric feeling. Then there is the artwork-Monet, Van Gogh, Gaugin just a few favorites, the art nouveau furniture, the sculptures, the dining area. I am so happy visitors want to experience this museum.
Cooking class is a blast! La Cuisine is a wonderful small cooking school only about half a mile north of our apartment. It offers a myriad of classes from cutting up a whole chicken and using all the parts to create a divine dinner (french onion soup with broth from the carcass, ailles de poulets from the wings, paupiettes de volaille-pounded flattened chicken breasts stuffed with herbes and mushrooms,) to making the perfect french baugette, or shopping at the local market for the best ingredients to make a sumptuous lunch. Our recent guest put the baugette making class high up on the enjoyment list.
Another new discovery for me and Hugh was made on the Modern Architecture Walk sponsored by Paris Walks. The Arab World Institute, which is less than half a mile east of our apartment, has a world class view of Paris from atop the sun terrace, and it is a free elevator ride to the top. While climbing to the top of Notre Dame can’t be beat, the Arab Institue elevator is a wonderful device ensuring that less nimble guests can view Paris from above. The walking tour also led us past the ebullient Frank Gehry cinematique, the controversial National Library which is designed like four open books, the brand new Cité de la Mode (les Docks) and the stunning Simone de Beauvoir footbridge.
Another dear friend arrived in Paris today. We will have many different experiences as she loves gardens!
Ann Pyles says
What a great way to experience new adventures. Glad you found the Rodin Museum to be special. I really enjoyed it.
Peter Nelson says
Thanks for providing the photograph of the Notre Dame Cathedral I saved your previous picture taken in a March snow as a stunning computer screen saver. The view has now been updated for the summer.
Dianna Durboraw says
Thank you so much for your post Brenda and Hugh. I so enjoy reading about your adventures. I am living vicariously through your writings. You are both such good writers and paint a wonderful picture of your life in Paris. It is fabulous!!! I read them several times. They read like a novel and are so educational. Such a beautiful city. Thank you again.
With much gratitude,
Gabrielle Gaylord says
I love reading your posts and feel as if I’m still there walking past all these wonderful sights. Jim and I will come back for a longer visit once you totally move there. The city suits you and it has allowed you to develop your many different interests. YOU ARE ALIVE THERE!! Wish I could go to Shakespeare and Company with you on Mondays. Again, thanks for sharing.
I, too, am so enjoying the blog. Perhaps you will stay longer- we are coming to Paris in May (after a week in London with my sister and nephew)- for 10 days 4 in Paris, then to Nice and monaco for the Historic Grand Prix ( it is the one with the old retro cars from 60’s) and the many museums in the Nice area- Chagall in particular beckons me, as does the inexpensive buses and trains that connect all the towns along the French Riviera. It will be hard to end the trip without going back to the Amalfi coast- didn’t you just love that trip? I too LOVE. The Rodan museum – his Shades from Dantecan also be seen at Stanford university campus, along with several others. And the Thinker is also at the Legion of Honour in San Francisco. ( and ghilberti fans can see his gates of paradise doors from Florence replicated on the doors of Grace cathedral on Nob Hill. And the bateau bus rides are the best way to see the city! We got passes for several days and found it so much more fun and relaxing over zipping around on the metro. I will definitely go up in the Arab bldg- there didn’t seem to be anything open to the public back in ’04. I can’t wait!