Europe 2017 – Paris

On the morning of Day Six, the four of us said goodbye to the DH’s Aunt, and along with his Mom hopped the Thalys to Paris. We arrived around lunchtime, dropped off our bags at the hotel (more on that in another post), and got straight to it.

Musée de l’Orangerie

Our first stop was the Musée de l’Orangerie. The museum is on the smaller side, but it does have a few unique items. Like Claude Monet’s Water Lilies panels. Ever since Blinky’s water color lilies painting which won first place in several art shows, we’ve fallen in love with Monet, specifically his Water Lilies creations. My pictures do not even come close to capturing the beauty of the panels, but you can get an idea of how they are installed.

There are eight panels in all, four in one room and four in another. The color and tone are reflective of the name of the panel:

  • The Two Willows
  • Clear Morning with Willows
  • Morning with Weeping Willows
  • Reflections of Trees
  • Green Reflections
  • Morning
  • Clouds
  • Sunset 

A virtual tour is available here.

The Musée de l’Orangerie does boast a few paintings by easily recognizable names like Renoir, Cezanne, Matisse, and Picasso, so even if Monet’s panels don’t interest you, it is still worth visiting.

Before leaving, Stinky and Blinky wanted to sign the guestbook.

We then walked and walked and walked across the green to the Louvre with the Eiffel Tower off in the distance. [Insert heavenly choir of angels!] It. Was. Stunning. When we were in the planning phase, the Louvre was iffy. I’d been twice before and knew the DH and my MIL would enjoy it immensely. But with two kids in tow for what would surely be an hours-long visit, we were afraid to push our luck. Much to our delight they were troopers, soaked everything in (naked portraits helped), and earned really cool souvenirs from the gift shop!

We all set out in search of the Mona Lisa. It was thrilling to see the kids’ excitement build the closer we got. Blinky was in awe, almost shaking. She’d heard about it, read about it, asked a million questions about it, and was finally seeing it. My heart was so full I thought it would burst!

With that crossed off our list, we took our time wandering the halls letting it all soak in. I must have taken a million pictures which the DH thought was pointless as he thought I should just download professional photos from the museum’s website. Ignoring him completely, I kept at it like any proper tourist would. Here are a few I took specifically for the blog.

Tucked away in the basement is an area detailing the history of the Louvre. Previously a castle and fortress, parts of the original foundation and walls can be seen. There was a short video showing the Louvre’s evolution, which was quite interesting. Stinky must have watched it three times!

When our exploring was finally done, we ventured over to the Carrousel du Louvre, an underground shopping mall adjacent to and accessible from the Louvre. In addition to a little shopping, we got to take pictures at La Pyramide Inversée. Any Da Vinci Code fans present?

We finally left the Louvre about 8:30pm. The sun was still bright, so we headed over to the Eiffel Tower. I’d been before, but never made it to the top as I am deathly afraid of heights. So, of course this was on the must-do list. The queue was ridiculously long so we took the opportunity to FaceTime Stinky’s teacher. She’d never been to Europe and had been keeping up with our trip. Several people nearby couldn’t help chuckling at Stinky’s side of the conversation. He’s a character!

When we were finally in the lift, Blinky’s excitement was palpable! I’m sure my anxiety was too. They let you off about a third of the way up to take pictures on an open air balcony and because you switch lifts at that point. I glued myself to the structure, but did peel away for this one group shot. The DH took the others.

Lift two took us straight to the top. As it was well after 9pm, we could see the sun start to set. I nearly cried when I saw the top level was fully enclosed. In fact, there was an inner chamber totally walled in and a balcony with a fenced top. Hallelujah!!!

By the time we stopped to take pictures, the sun had already set, the Eiffel Tower’s lights were on, and the City of Lights was illuminated.

We got back to the bottom shortly after 11pm where throngs of people were still in line, taking pictures at the base or buying souvenirs from the many African vendors lining the streets. For the first time that day, we were beginning to feel worn out and decided to head to the hotel. But not before I snapped this final shot of the night. Wow!

Tomorrow, I’ll review our half day in Paris and arrival in London.

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