The Saint and I were watching Mondy Don on television. He was standing in front of the Monet Water Lily panels in the Musée de l'Orangerie when I sighed and commented that I would dearly love to see them. Two weeks later, we were racing across the countryside in the Eurostar en route to a cold and wintry Paris. (Now you know another reason why he is called The Saint:))
We started our adventure by climbing the tallest hill in Paris up Montmartre
to look out on the gloomy, misty city
and decided that a real 'French' experience would cheer us immensely. One of the things that I love about France is the beautiful paper placemats that adorn the tables.
We imbibed our delicious, if expensive, delights overlooking a traditional square of artists painting and drawing portraits for tourists.
Afterwards, we explored the streets where Picasso, Degas, Monet, Renoir and Cezanne, to name a few, spent time creating and changing our understanding of art. In the shop windows was the usual tourist tat.
These cups advertised a potter.
After walking for a couple of hours we found a delightful Italian place, decorated with the South African flag (in the corner next to the painting of the building) to while away a pleasant hour or two with red wine and good food.
The next morning saw us in a cafe near the Louvre where we enjoyed breakfast. This gorgeous panel was the decoration.
The Louvre pyramid is impressive. The building that houses all those amazing art pieces is just as beautiful both inside and out, as the art it houses.
We beat the crowds to Mona Lisa and I was quite emotional standing before a number of these beautiful artworks. I never dreamed that I would see them when I studied Art History as a young girl in a faraway country.
Winged Victory of Samothrace
Venus de Milo
The Lace Maker
I don't know who this chap is but he looks kinda like The Saint (when he had more hair).
To honour my adopted country - St George and the Dragon.
I loved the ceilings in the Louvre and spent a great deal of time craning my neck looking at them.
The painting that stole my heart - The Young Martyr. I love the light on the water.
Too much culture dulls the mind so we left the Louvre to walk along the Seine to find lunch and the Orangerie. Monet's panels beckoned. No photos are permitted of the panels and words cannot describe the experience.
The bridges along the Seine are adorned with locks. People write their names and the names of their lovers on them then lock them onto the bridge and throw the keys into the water.
The buildings are fun, sometimes with decorated facades.
The following day we explored the islands of the Seine and visited Notre Dame.
We walked to Pont de Neuf bridge. The Louvre is beautifully framed by the arches.
We boarded a boat for a tour up the river but did not hear much as the engines were louder than the megaphone...
Thanks to the advice from Cecile, one of my lovely knitting/spinning friends, we travelled on the metro to a lovely area with a yarn shop where I was most restrained:)
There were quirky shops selling quirky things. I loved the Chocolatier - a real artisan business.
In another shop window, a doll's house that looked fascinating
and then I lost restraint in a wonderful embroidery shop where I came away with this cross stitch kit and a beautiful pair of embroidery scissors.
The last day saw us walking towards the Eiffel Tower very early. We decided that even though the weather produced poor visibility, we still had to ascend the heights.
We stood in the queue underneath the tower eating croissants and drinking coffee, as one does in France, to keep warm.
It was such fun going up in the glass lifts and at the top a misty view of a very cold city.
Did I mention it was freezing...... ? My wonderful knitwear was deliciously warm, hidden under the big jacket!
As we left the sun attempted to break through the clouds. After a long walk around Paris we spent our last afternoon in the d'Orsay museum enjoying the works of the Impressionists who had instigated our unforgettable adventure.