Day 6: Masterpieces of Paris

Clock at Orsay Museum

Best of Paris Itinerary: This morning we’ll tour the Orangerie Museum featuring Monet’s magnificent water lilies and home to a fine collection of other works by Renoir, Matisse, Picasso, and more. You’ll be well oriented and have time this afternoon to see the world’s greatest collection of Impressionist art—almost next door—at the Orsay Museum, with art from Monet and Degas to Cézanne and Gauguin, and beyond. Or visit other nearby places covered by your included 6-Day Paris Museum Pass, such as the Rodin Museum, or the military museum of Les Invalides. Tonight we’ll enjoy a farewell feast together, sharing travel memories and toasting new friends. Salut! Walking: moderate.

Journal

Friday, May 6
We visited two wonderful museums today: Musée de l’Orangerie with a fabulous guide, Joelle, who was Arnaud’s art history teacher. She gave us plenty of time to learn about and appreciate Monet’s great project, The Nymphéas [Water Lilies], which occupied the artist for three decades. One enters these rooms by way of a small, empty circular room, painted in white with a single skylight. The intention is to clear your mind, to become new, “like a child”, and allow for the full-color impact of what is to come. The museum displays the panoramic frieze of the Water Lilies in two elliptical rooms, and the effect is magnificent.

Fun fact: an orangerie is a greenhouse for citrus trees. This museum building was built in 1852 as a winter shelter for the orange trees that lined the garden of the Tuileries Palace. Before then, the orange trees were housed in the Grande Galerie of the Louvre.

Next we visited Musée d’Orsay, a museum with an impressive 19th and 20th century European art collection housed in Gare d’Orsay, a Beaux-Arts railway station. The beautiful clocks in the museum were made famous in the film Hugo, and it is amazing to see Paris through the glass face of a clock. We had lunch in the hip café on the top floor, and enjoyed wandering through the museum’s many galleries afterwards.

Our final tour group dinner was held at Le Bosquet. The wine was flowing and the conversation lively! I tried one snail (escargot) – now I’ve done it! Delicious artichoke starter, duck for dinner, apple tart for dessert.

It was a little sad to say goodbye to our new friends from the tour – like the end of summer camp. We had a lot of fun experiencing Paris with this group, and Arnaud was a terrific guide!

“Color is my day-long obsession, joy and torment.”

– Claude Monet

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Le Bosquet Menu

Entree au choix / starter:
Ravioles de royans
Royans ravioles stuffed with cheese and herbs
Six escargots de Bourgogne extra gros
Six extra large snails from Burgundy
Artichaut de Bratagne prepare
Artichoke, herbs French dressing

Plat (Main dish):
Confit de canard de la ferme, puree maison
Duck confit with mashed potatoes
Duo de poissons frais a la provencale, riz et haricots verts frais
Two fishes (gambas & seabass) Provencal mode with rice and fresh green beans

Dessert:
Tiramisu
Fraises melba
Strawberries and vanilla ice cream
Tarte tatin
Apple tart