Wet Wednesday

On our final morning after our breakfast (for the first time in our hotel rather than “Le Twickenham” – it may have been pricey but at least the croissants weren’t burnt) we headed out into a damp and drizzling Paris. The rain was probably in order to set the theme for our morning’s exploits as I was to finally achieve one of my long cherish goals – to see Monet’s Water Lily murals in L’Orangerie at the end of the Tuileries Gardens. The last two times we visited Paris the galleries were closed for renovation. This time they were finally open, except on Tuesdays, that is.

So we had a very atmospheric stroll along the left bank:

Walking along the left bank

The Musée de l’Orangerie was a calm and quiet place (one of the advantages of Paris in December, I guess) and I was able to relax in the 2 oval rooms with the 8 paintings of Monet’s water lilies which he gifted to the French state. The rooms had diffused daylight – which is how Monet wanted them displayed. I particularly liked the evening time paintings of the water lilies. The collection of impressionist and post-impressionist paintings in the basement were also worth looking at as well – although if I wanted to look at the more stunning impressionist pieces I would have needed to cross the river and go to the Musee D’Orsay.

After leaving the gallery we headed back down the gardens, with the intention of having lunch in La Samaritaine from their roof top cafe. I had forgotten, however, that it has been closed since 2005 for security and renovation. There was some outdoor photo display surrounding it but the doors were firmly shut. So going on the speed at which the l’Orangerie was renovated it will probably reopen in 2013.

La Samaritaine

It was a shame this beautiful Art Nouveau building wasn’t open as the view of Paris from the rooftop cafe was lovely when we went there in 2004, when we were on our honeymoon. I would have also liked to have seen the lovely internal art noveau murals that are displayed on the top floors. The snap below was grabbed back then – just before my ancient digital camera decided to give up the ghost:

Art Nouveau Mural in La Samaritaine

After lunch in a cafe at the Forum des Halles we wandered back to our hotel, picked up our bags and made our way home on the Eurostar. The bubbly was diet coke this time but the reading material made up for it….. I had found a much sought after copy of the Marie Claire Idees Christmas issue: