When I started moving on Sunday morning, the entire city of Paris was dead and silent. The metro was virtually empty. There was only the occasional person walking along the sidewalks or car driving along the street. Most shops were closed.
I had already decided the day before that I didn’t want to go to the Louvre. On the recommendation of the French woman whose apartment I was staying in, I made my way to the Musse d’Orsay. My decision was only reinforced when I saw that there were exhibits with Van Gogh, Monet, Renoir, Pisarro, Rodin and more.
Unfortunately, the museum didn’t allow photographs in the museum. Of course, this didn’t stop tons of Asian tourists from getting uncomfortably close to the Van Gogh’s. The numerous chidings didn’t stop them at all.. they only got smarter and eventually started tag-teaming where one would be the look-out for the museum attendants. It was kinda ridiculous.
There was one room (pictured below) that I walked into in the museum that was so astounding and gorgeous that I had to take a picture. I had wanted to sit and sketch the different paintings but every time I began to do this, some random tourist would walk over and stand so close to me peering at my drawing that I could feel their breath on my hands. So, I simply wrote in my journal about the artists and painters.
After spending 5 hours or so in the Musee d’Orsay, I discovered that I love neo-impressionism. I love that it was a scientific, methodical approach to art. Each brushstroke by Paul Signac and Maximilien Luce was so concentrated and controlled with each stoke looking the exact same size, almost like elongated pixels, but the color is so beautifully bright and overwhelming. After the museum, I grabbed a sandwich and something fantastically amazing from a patisserie and went back to the apartment for a break.
One of the goodies I brought home was a chocolate macaroon. I had seen so many people post photos of these weird little sandwich cookie things but I had never had one. I stopped in this one restaurant that had a display in their window. I asked for one chocolate macaroon and the host asked, “Just one?” I should have gotten more than one! It was so good. I was expecting it to be hard and crunchy but it was so wafer-like and creamy and amazing.
After this, I went to the Palais Garnier (Paris Opera House) and to the neighborhood of Montmartre. This and more in my next blog post!