Friday, May 11, 2012

Paris Day 2

Breakfast facing the famous Opéra under a canopy in the pouring rain - coffee and croissant. Delicious. We both had decided that we wanted to go to the Musée d'Orsay to see the Impressionist paintings. This is a super museum and well worth a visit when in Paris - some of the worlds most famous paintings from van Gogh, Monet, Manet, and Degas are there for all to see. The place was thronged at 11.00 in the morning. We when to see a special exhibition on Degas and his nudes - the guy like to paint people in the Hey Jude a lot!

On top of the Arc de Triomphe.
Eating and drinking near any tourist attraction in Paris seems to cost a lot. Since I fancied a beer with lunch, I baulked at the €16 per litre price - we walked a good bit away from the museum and settled on Le Drop Café where the beer was half the price (naturally I had two!). Delicious burger and fries - recommended.

Later we jumped on board a Hop-on Hop-off Red Bus tour and made our way back to the Arc de Triomphe and climbed the 284 steps to the top (the lift was out of order). This is a fantastic view from the top of all around Paris. We had good fun picking out the sites. We continued our Red Bus journey until the Eiffel Tour where we stopped off to take part in a boat trip on the Seine. We had thought about pre-booking a meal on one of these boats, but settled for an open top tour. It was quite cold and later we had to get inside under shelter. The boat trip is good fun, but you see very little of the main sights because you are looking up from a low vantage point all the time. The highlight was the Notre Dame cathedral - magnificent.

Later we set off for Montmartre and the Sacré-Cœur to sample the night life. We had dinner in the centre of the art district and I had my portrait drawn by Mariella. She wanted €40 - I offered €20 - we settled on €25. I think the portrait is a reasonable likeness - she was generous with my hair, and also gave me a bit of a smirk. I think I'll use this as my thumbnail photo for a while - I like it.

After such a long day we were exhausted, though managed to stop for one more beer on the way back to the hotel. Montmartre in the evening is lovely, inside the church is nice and peaceful, but outside it as full of life and music. A perfect end to a perfect day.

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