Ah well, it had to happen. I knew the Louvre was closed yesterday but did not check everything. Frankly most museums are closed on Mondays, not Tuesdays. Tuesday was our day to go to Musee d’Orsay which has a lovely Manet exhibit going right now, and I knew it was open because I did check. We arrived after walking from our hotel–I found my first Starbuck’s ahhhh, Esme never tires of my ability to figure out where a Starbuck’s could be in almost any country–at, 9:45 the lines were incredible. Luckily we had our Paris pass because I can tell you right now I am not a line person and will not wait but the pass let us in a different entrance. The Manet exhibit was nice but honestly a two-hour wait? I don’t think so.
The Pompedieu was our next stop. I have a soft spot for this modern art museum that looks like it is made out of spare plumbing parts. It is plunked down in the middle of town and really doesn’t fit in. When I was there in the ’80’s at night there were hordes of people in the surrounding court-yard blowing huge bubbles, swallowing fire, playing the shell con. Well, sadly as we got closer I realized it was very vcry quiet. The only way the Pompedieu is like the Louvre is that it is closed on Tuesdays.
Ok fine, so we headed out to Sacre Couer and the Montmartre area. This is another place I visited last time I was here but the beauty of it is worth returning to. It is also located on a the top of a very steep hill. I wouldn’t be surprised if it is not the highest hill in Paris. At the top you get an idea of what a sprawling city Paris really is. This is after braving the hordes of ‘art hawkers’ who offer to sketch a quick portrait. Almost as pesky as the tailor sellers in Hong Kong–I think they win just because of sheer numbers. No ‘women of questionable employment’ out at that time though, maybe Tuesday is a popular day to have off?
Someone needed a break. Sheesh. So back to the hotel and really we were done for the day. Walking up from the metro we came upon Mufftard street which had tons of cafes with food of all varieties. I peeled off into ‘Little Crete’ and ordered a salad and gyro before there was a total revolution. Mind you it was 2:00 in the afternoon and we had been at it all day.
My favorite thing (other than the food) about Parisian cafes is that the seating is arranged for unabashed people watching. The outside seating is all arranged facing toward the sidewalk. Its what we all want to do after all, why not just admit it!!
Today we are off to Versailles — President Sarkozy is coming to our little neighborhood to commemorate a famous French poet into the Parthenon. Our hotel is right across the street and we have been keeping an eye on the preparations all week. If we come back before 8 pm (no doubt we will) we’ll have to show 7 gazillion pieces of ID as well as a letter from our hotel, should be interesting!