Our second morning in Paris we awoke feeling refreshed after such a long sleep the night before. We quickly got ready and headed along the Metro to the Musee d’Orsay. On our walk to the museum from the nearest metro station, we walked along the street where Trevor and I stayed four years earlier. It was the loveliest flat owned by his cousin and his wife and was a wonderful little walk down memory lane; so many unforgettable vacation memories came flooding back to me. In that moment, I missed Trevor more than anything and wished that he was in Paris with us.
We walked right into the museum and I instantly felt energized. We were so excited to be there and we quickly walked through the art on the main floor and then headed up to the 5th floor to the café for an early lunch. We dined on large salads in the shadow of the giant, historic clock while tourists walked through snapping pictures of the stunning room.
After lunch, we continued along the 5th floor admiring the work of the impressionists. Degas perfectly captured the ballerinas in the Palais Garnier, and Monet took our breath away with the paintings of the cathedral in Rouen. We slowly made our way through the rooms, taking time to linger around our favourite pieces and soak up all the exquisite art.
After having our fill of the impressionists, we went back down to the main floor and took another walk through the art, and then perused the gift shop for a little while. Once outside we rested our feet for a couple minutes on the steps outside (and took advantage of the free wi-fi), and I remembered all the time that Trevor and I had spent on those steps. The Musee d’Orsay still remains my favourite museum that I’ve ever had the privilege to visit. It will always have a very special place in my heart, and I’m not sure that any other museum will ever compare.
After sitting for a little while we walked across the familiar footbridge into the Jardin des Tuileries. The beige gravel crunched beneath our feet and we gazed around in awe of the beauty that surrounded us. A leisurely walk through the gardens led us to the Musee du Louvre, where we snapped pictures of the historic former palace. The entrance through the iconic pyramid was too crowded, so we walked around to the side of the building and used the less-busy group entrance. We entered the museum and took in the impressive sight of the glass pyramid from below. Feeling thirsty, we grabbed a couple bottles of water, checked our bags and coat at the coat check, and started making our way through the massive collection. I have to say, that I’m really not a fan of this museum. While I can appreciate all the great works of art that it contains, I find it too large, crowded, and stuffy for my liking. We didn’t want to spend a lot of time going through the seemingly endless rooms, and Jenn really wanted to see the Winged Victory of Samothrace, so we set off to find it. Finally, as we climbed up a set of stairs, there she sat. You could almost feel the violent sea breeze when looking at the statue’s draped clothes and out-stretched wings. The beauty of this piece took our breath away.
After we had our fill of the enormous museum, we headed to the Carrousel du Louvre to do a bit of shopping and browsing before heading back up to the street, and into the Tuileries again.
We passed by a small crepe stand and decided to have a little rest and goûter. We ordered two crepes: one with apricot jam and one with caramel sauce. They were both delicious but I still dream of that caramel crepe. It’s one of the most amazing things that we ate during our whole trip. I might book a ticket back to Paris just to have another.
After our snack, the clouds suddenly became dark and grey and we started to feel drops on rain on our heads. Seeking shelter from the rain, we walked back underground to the metro station and made our way back to the hotel, exhausted from our busy day.
Fighting our urges to sleep, we stepped out into the street in search of dinner. We were sure that we would end up in a café, but as we walked down the familiar street we passed a tiny little Italian restaurant that we had failed to notice before. After a quick look at the menu, we decided to give it a try. The restaurant was tiny but quaint, and the chef and server were both exceptionally friendly to us (despite our butchering of the French language and their inability to speak any English). We quickly ordered a mozzarella, tomato, and basil salad, a couple of spaghetti dishes, and a bottle of Italian red wine and we awaited our dinner. The salad was probably the best that I’ve ever had; the portion was HUGE (meant to be eaten family style, I’m sure) and the everything was so fresh and melted in your mouth. The pasta was also fresh, simple and delicious and totally hit the spot. We left feeling satisfied (and a little tipsy) and sunk into our beds totally content and excited to see what our next day would bring.