EU Day 62-63: Exploring Paris

I was so excited to wake up this morning, Chris and Frank gave me a bunch of ideas of what I could check out and all their suggestions were in TripAdvisor’s top 10 activities. We started off with the Museé D’Orsay, a massive museum across the river from the Louvre (seeing that tomorrow so I don’t get art overload). It’s five storeys high and there was such a diverse range of artwork to admire.

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This one made me laugh, on the left is just a normal sized and normal looking owl from the museum, on the right you have a giant, fibre glass owl which costed $400,000 and now stands at a busy intersection in Belconnen (a suburb in Canberra). Along the way I took loads of photos, but I’m struggling to upload them as my €50 phone is a bit too slow.

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I actually enjoyed Van Gogh’s artwork, my hostel in Amsterdam is located right next to a museum dedicated to him, definitely on my to see list.

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After the museum and a quick lunch, Chris and Frank headed home while I checked out a few more sights. The Cathedral of St. Chappelle was very impressive, with over 600 square metres of stained glass. The panels have been slowly restored over time and each of the thirteen sections tells a story from the bible. At the back is the rose shaped window (more of a circle) which details the Revelations, the end of the world. It looked pretty rosy to me 😀

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I walked down the block to the Notre Dame Cathedral, which had a massive line in front of it, probably because there’s no entrance fee. I opted to walk through the gardens instead and carried on with my journey towards the Eiffel Tower. It was at least thirty minutes away by foot, so I stopped for afternoon tea. Paris has a reputation for being expensive, and when it costs €3 for a coffee, that makes sense. Although Chris told me it’s only €1.20 if you stand at the bar, the rest of it is just paying for the real estate you use when sitting at a table. I found some reasonably priced treats and did a bit of people watching.

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My photo in front of the tower is a bit awkward, I guess I was so excited to be in Paris and see the Eiffel Tower, that I forgot where to put my hands. It was pretty cool, although the line to climb it was more than 45 minutes. I didn’t mind missing it, after all, I saw plenty of cool things along the way already. We had dinner at home that night and chatted over some drinks until midnight.

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The next morning I lined up three more museums, a little ambitious, but I was keen to see as much as possible before I left. They weren’t kidding about how big the Louvre is, there are courtyards for sculptures and two storeys of artwork, spread along several kilometres of corridors. There’s no way you could see it all in a day, but every part of it was breathtaking, even the ceilings.

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Next up was some photography by Germaine Kruul, a female photographer and photo journalist, who was known for her contribution to the avant garde scene in the 1920s to 1940s.

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Valerie Jouve’s exhibition focused on human interaction with the urban environment and it made me a bit happy about my unemployment.

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With a little bit more walking, I made it to the Palais de Tokyo for a dose of modern art. The building itself was cool and some of the rooms were a bit frightening, the kinds of places I wouldn’t want to be alone in, especially at night time. Although some of the abstract videos explaining the displays were oddly soothing.

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I particularly liked Patrick Neu’s work, his exhibit was entirely comprised of exceptionally fragile pieces, taking years to put together. I thought I was a patient person, but this was something else.

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I made it back to the apartment and for my last night in Paris, we went out to dinner at a nice restaurant nearby. The house specialty was duck, so we each picked something different from the menu and swapped plates to try a bit of everything. We were all full by the end of it and I sleep peacefully before my 127km ride tomorrow.

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After two days of beautiful and sunny weather, I felt so content and recharged. As usual it was great to stay in a real home rather than a hotel or hostel. Chris, Leonie and Frank were excellent hosts and looked after me too.

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