Friday, August 8, 2014

Five Days in Paris: Day 2

After selecting a beautiful array of pastries from the bakery across the street, our top priority for the day was L'Orangerie, which is just outside the Louvre, in the west corner of the Tuilerie Gardens. It is well worth the price of admission—and a whole trip to Paris—just to spend a few minutes in Monet's Water Lily Vestibules. 

These giant oval-shaped rooms are covered on every wall with Monet's water lily murals—his gift to the people of France after World War I, a 13-year effort he considers his magnum opus. One can sit in the center of each room and be literally surrounded by the stillness and serenity of his garden images. It is breath-taking and sublime. Monet's objective was to create an area where one could experience total peace. And (if the noisy tourists will behave themselves) you will experience just that.

Remy de la Mauviniere/Associated Press via New York Times

"These landscapes of water and reflection have become an obsession for me," Monet wrote to a friend in 1909. "It is beyond my strength as an old man, and yet I want to render what I feel." Monet has magically succeeded, and given us all a legacy of peace.

Other Destinations we checked off the list:

Le Grande Palais
Petit Palais
Boat Ride on the Seine, Day 2

Then, after miles, and miles of walking, we had dinner at Cafe Constant. Astonishingly, we met a family there whom we had also met on the Tube in London. It was fun to visit with them and laugh at how similar our itineraries were. The food at Cafe Constant was amazing. Worth every euro. (And there were a lot of euros on the tab!)

Adieu, mon ami.

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