Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Fin de semaine à Paris

I woke up Saturday morning, my bewilderment at being in France subsided, determined to seize the day and make the most of my good fortune to be in Paris and see the sights.

I began Saturday morning with rather large petit déjeuner français at a café/bar (a few of the gentlemen were drinking beer at ten in the morning) consisting of a café au lait, croissant and orange juice in addition to half a baguette sliced in half and rather heavily buttered with a small pot of jam.

After I finished breakfast, I set out for Sacré Coeur, passing by Le Moulin de la galette on the way.

Sacré Coeur was so beautiful. The experience was only slightly marred by being accosted by one of the many aggressive souvenir vendors there, this one who tried to sell me an embroidery thread bracelet. It’s a bit of a shame how such a wonderful architectural and religious site has become such a tourist trap.

I continued on my walk and eventually found myself passing through the Galleries Lafayettes and Place de l’Opéra before arriving at the jardin des Tuilleries. Passing through the gardens, I was surprised to see the number of flowers in bloom this late in September. Crossing the Seine by foot bridge, I noticed many locks attached to the railings of the bridge with lovers’ initials. As I suspected, the line for the Musée d’Orsay was very long, so I resolved to come back the next morning when it opened.
Despite the occasional light rain shower and grey skies, when the sun shone, autumn in Paris is quite beautiful.

Sunday morning I woke up early to get to the Musée d’Orsay as soon as possible. I got there just after 10:00am and was in after a short wait in line. The museum itself, located inside an old train station, is very pretty.

I began by seeing the Impressionists and Post-Impressionists. It was breathtaking to see many of the paintings I studied in art history in person. I found that viewing many of the Impressionists and Post-Impressionists’ depictions of the countryside and nature scenes oddly gave me a new appreciation for Emily Carr and the Canadian Group of Seven. I feel that after having studied Impressionism and the ideas of light, optics and modernity behind it, that I understand and appreciate a bit more what Emily Carr and the Group of Seven were doing. I would love to see Emily Carr and the Group of Seven’s works when I come back to Canada.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Looks very exciting,what a great adventure ! Wish I was there... St-Etienne also looks good on G Earth,it`s full of history,nice old architecture and pretty central for week-end travelling...Papa.