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(Day &) Night at the Museum(s)

sunny 17 °C
View Euro trip 2013 on travellinglise's travel map.

Instead of "live well", the French say "Eat well:" Mangez bien

Foodie moment

Finally, today, we had the time and money to try a French speciality - the Plat de Jour. This is a set menu, displayed on a blackboard out the front of the restaurant, where you can choose either a starter and main, or main and desert for a set price. We luckily picked very well as this was one of the best meals we have had so far. We ordered French onion soup and Eggs Basque style for starter - best soup ever with goopy melted cheese in it, and the eggs so beautifully prepared. Then, beef with red wine sauce and potatoes, and chicken with creamy mushroom sauce and chips, for main. So delicious and a lovely waiter at the Latin St. Jacques restaurant near Notre Dame, in the Latin quarter.


Cultural moment

Paris loves its museums, they have museums looking at everything from the extremely famous right through to the extremely bizarre! What is really great is that they encourage a love of art and culture in their youth, by giving all under 26's free entry to all museums. There are more museums than you can count in Paris, and you would never have time to see them all without being a Parisian.


Wow moment

Celebrating its 850th year! Notre Dame is the geographical center of Paris. We arrived in the middle of midday mass service, so it was nice to see that the cathedral is more than just a tourist attraction and still in use today. We didn't get to climb the tower as the line was ridiculously long. Even without being religious, the stained glass windows and architecture evoke a feeling of calmness within.


The Musee d'Orsay houses the best collection of Impressionist paintings in the world. Featuring artists such as Monet, Degas, Renoir, Manet and Van Gogh. Seeing some of the paintings of these masters in real life, rather in art class or books, was awe inspiring. We particularly enjoyed the Neo Impressionist paintings by such artists as Henri Edmond Cross. Another great thing about the museum is that it is set in an old train station, with a beautiful big clock overlooking the gallery.


"So lets walk to the Louvre", I (Mark) said. Stupidly I didn't realise it was the biggest building I have ever seen, it has wings off wings off wings. They say it would take you 9 months to fully explore all of the 35000+ pieces of art it houses (I think that's a bit of an exaggeration). Needless to say, it houses many famous pieces of art, well worth trekking through the vast halls to reach. These include the Venus de Milo, Psyche and Cupid, The Winged Victory of Samothrace and most famously, the MONA LISA! The ceiling paintings were as impressive as the artwork they held. We managed to see most of the best exhibitions within 3 hours, sore feet, but feeling culturally fulfilled.


What we learnt today

If you plan on visiting at least 3 famous museums in Paris (especially if one of them is the Chateaux Versailles) then you have to get the Paris Museum pass. It will save you money and best of all, let you skip some of those dreaded lines! Having said that, DO NOT wait until your first museum to buy it, as you will wait in line with everyone else... either buy it before you leave for your trip or get it from the airport, train station or at the tourist information office.


Another hint.... sharpen your elbows, Paris tourists are pushy, especially in front of the Mona Lisa. Apparently everyone has more of a right to have a personal picture with the painting than anyone else!!


Posted by travellinglise 11:15 Archived in France

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Hey awesome Blog so far. Great pics and updates.
"sharpen your elbows", just give mark a few beers and I'm sure his elbows will get plenty sharp.

by Paul

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