Day 26: impromptu ‘concerts,’ water lilies, and such

No more lollygagging…if we’re going to see the museums of Paris, it’s time to get serious. 

this girl stood was engrossed

this girl stood engrossed before the water lilies

So, today, we started off with the Musée de l’Orangerie, arguably one of the best  collections of Impressionist art anywhere (except for, perhaps Musée d’Orsay which is on the schedule for Tuesday). 

After a yummy potato omelet at a cafe alongside the Pompidou Center, we hopped on the metro toward Concord. The metro we happened to hop on came with musical entertainment–a man, his electric guitar, and an amp, serenading the passengers with Spanish songs. It was surprisingly good, and definitely an enjoyable start to the day. 

After seeing works by Monet (like), Utrillo (like–we saw a painting of his with the very view from our dinner table in Montmarte last night!), Renior (not a big fan), Matisse (like, but a bit odd), and Picasso (never knew he did non-cubist stuff) we headed to a cafe in the Tulleries garden for a snack–beer and french fries. 

From there we decided to walk up the Champs-Elysees, with a brief detour to see some more Monet (for free!) in the Petit Palais, and a view of the Invalides and Eiffel Tower from the pont Alexander III

wedding party taking photos on Pont Alexander III

wedding party taking photos on Pont Alexander III

The walk from the Tulleries garden toward the  Arc d’Triumph, took us past the US Embassy (no pictures allowed?!), through gardens with blossoming tulips (and other flowers, but I don’t know their names) and gi-normous artichoke plants. There were also TONS of people walking along the Champs-Elysees, in both directions. 

We decided to stop for a bite to eat (salad, pizza, red wine) at a restaurant just before the Arc d’Triumph, figuring we might need the sustenance for the 284 step climb to the top.

When you eat at outdoor cafes in Paris you are basically lined up, perched at tiny round tables, facing the street, watching the people go by. If you are one with a need for a lot of personal space, this is not for you. We were close enough to our neighbors for me to know that on one side, they were from Ireland and on the other side, for the guy to offer to pay me for my mom (I said I’d sell her for 200 euro, he offered 300. So, though it was great to hang out with her in Paris, looks like I’ll be alone…kidding). 

girl band plays at the top of the  Arc d'Triumph

girl band plays at the top of the Arc d'Triumph

Once at the top (with a few rest stops up the 284 stairs) we were treated not only with the expected 360 views of the city (though a bit hazy) but also with a girl band, wearing silver/white ‘bob’ wigs, playing trumpets, tubas, drums…still not sure why, as they were not collecting money, but everyone up at the top gathered around listened, and joined in the fun. From the name on the drum they appear to be les muses tanguent. 

So, all in all a great day, book-ended by two impromptu, free, and fun in their spontaneity concerts!

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