”I love Paris in the fall,
”I love Paris when it drizzles
” I love Paris every moment—-”
My daughter Kelly and I spent 10 days walking Paris in October and as Porter said, I loved every moment of adventure on every street.
They fascinated me and many of them actually work. The view was wonderful and in the bell tower was this quote from “The Hunchback of Notre Dame”
”All Paris was spread out at his feet, with her thousand turrets, her undulating horizon, her river winding under bridges, her stream of people flowing to and fro in the streets; with the cloud of smoke rising from her many chimneys; with her chain of crested roofs pressing in ever tightening coils round about Notre Dame”. —-victor hugo—
Across the Seine was Ste. Chapelle, the amazing chapel of stained glass, ablaze with color and light. It absolutely surrounds you. And then of course it was time for a break in one of the ever-present cafes.
We took buses, the Metro and trains and one evening, the Batabus on the Seine. It was a wonderful way to see dusk come to the city. We were able to visit the Louvre that night. In the evening, in light mist, the famous (or infamous) Pyramid glowed with light and bounced in reflections in front of the dark castle of the Louvre.
On a bright sunny morning we took the train to Givernay, about an hour from Paris. It is Monet’s home and gardens and pond; what a thrill to see the source of so many paintings that I have known over the years.
Monet was passionate about his gardens and particularly the waterlily pond for which he had diverted a stream. As we walked around the pond we were amazed to see a man launch a skiff on the pond and proceed to scoop up stray leaves around the waterlilies. I learned that this scooping began with Monet himself , for he wanted no stray plants to spoil the reflections of the waterlilies.
The gardens around the house were a confusion of color for the artist. Many of his friends painted there in this neverending display. My camera was awestruck by the number of pictures I took.
We lunched in the sun and walked the village, even stumbling on the Monet family grave—with only a small sign on the churchyard gate announcing it.
But what a lovely day in the sun and color.
Back in Paris we went the next day to the Orangerie where special huge rooms below ground were built for Monet’s “Waterlilies”. The paintings completely surround you as you might be surrounded by the pond and its setting. It is light with the natural light from above for this is a completely separate part of the museum.
We went to the Orsay, the impressionist museum in the old train station, beautifully re-used with the huge clock windows still working. (See the movie, “Hugo” and you will see these windows). This was probably one of our favorite museum for all of Impressionist paintings.
On a rainy day we went to Paris’ most glamourous department store, the LaFayette. Many floors and gold and glass elevators, expensive designer goods and a whole-floor cafeteria with wine on tap from a room-size wine barrel. The food choices were fantastic and we even had a view from our little table. On the roof-top we viewed the Opera building and a misty Paris.
We toured the Luxembourg Gardens, stopping to sit and do some sketching of the palace and the still-blooming flowers. Had supper on the Left Bank and walked all the way home along the Seine, soaking up the reflections of palaces and towers.
We saw the Eiffel Tower; took waterbuses and the Metro, and walked the Champs- Elysees and the Place de la Concorde. We enjoyed pastries and markets and castles and cafes! What a joy to visit the fabled city of Paris.