Today, a Sunday, the first Sunday of the month, our second day, first full day in Paris, also happens to be the day most museums are open free to the public. We took full advantage of this and crammed in as many museums as we possible could. It was a packed day, but we had a lot of fun, and saw a lot of Paris.
Here’s what we did on Day two:
We woke up later than we planned. I had made an itinerary in advance to make sure to get to everything. We got to the Louvre about an hour late than I was hoping. We did our research and planned to use the typically short underground entrance instead of the famous glass pyramid entrance. Unfortunately, a large number of tourist groups had lined up in front of us and the wait was two hours. We managed to find the end of the line and I was trying my hardest to not blow up at Jordan for snoozing his alarm earlier that morning. Thankfully, a woman from the Louvre intervened and sent us gave us priority access and we jumped to the front of the line. We definitely have Ruby to thank for this one.
We made it through the Louvre fairly quickly. I mapped out everything I wanted to see and we stuck to only a couple of hallways. I knew I would enjoy more of the modern art museums more, so I tried to limit what we saw to only some of the masterpieces I studied in school. It was incredible to see in person.
I was so impressed by how quickly we made it through, we were ready to move on to the next museum in probably less than an hour.
We walked out feeling like we were back on track. The Musee d’Orsay was just across the Seine. We had to cross one street to get there but there was a huge 10K race going on and we couldn’t get across.
So, after wasting a lot of time trying to figure out how to cross the river and to get around the race, we conceited. We walked through the Tuileries Garden outside of the Louvre and stopped for a cafe creme and a nutella crepe which lifted our spirits. Just to the end of the gardens is the Musee de l’Orangerie.
Seeing the Waterlillies by Claude Monet span an entire room was more incredible than I imagined. There are two large rooms with a painting that circles the entire room. It’s lovely. We spent our entire time in these two rooms. I chose not to see the rest of the museum, although I wish I had. I was pretty anxious to get to the Orsay museum as I knew I wanted to spend the most time there. This was by far one of my favorite experiences.
With the race now over, we were finally able to cross the Seine to get to Musee d’Orsay. Even though I had done quite a bit of research and have some art history classes under my belt, I was incredibly overwhelmed. I wanted to see everything. It was fairly easy for me to narrow in on a few things I wanted to see at the Louvre, but the Orsay picks up where the Louvre leaves off, my favorite part, the beginning of modern art. I basically ran around the museum like a madwoman seeing everything for a brief second. It was crazy and wonderful. I definitely needed to slow down a bit, and maybe even take a break for a moment and grab some coffee at the cafe. Although, to be fair I spent a lot of time trying to track down a couple paintings, one of which wasn’t even there at the time. In the end we spent a good amount of time at the museum, and I left feeling satisfied in seeing everything. I’ll do a run further rundown of this museum later of everything.
After the Orsay museum, we made a terrible mistake of not sitting down for lunch. We grabbed a quick bite to eat at the first place we saw, and it wasn’t that good. By this point we were making excellent time and could have sat down for lunch. Instead we ate as we walked to the Rodin museum, Jordan had a disappointing croque monsieur and I had a pain au chocolat.
I actually wasn’t sure we would be able to make it to the Rodin Museum, but we had plenty of time to explore the grounds. It was a perfect end to our museum tour, Ruby was able to run around and we were able to admire Rodin’s sculptures. We were all tired so we sat down in the gardens to enjoy another café crème. Ruby continued to make friends with every other kid that would pay attention to her.
We were finished with everything a lot earlier than I anticipated. We surprisingly still had a lot of energy left and wanted to see more of Paris. We were close to the park, Invalides and were going to see a playground with Ruby. She of course fell asleep when we got there, so we decided to go to a bistro to sit down for a real meal. Picking a restaurant was a challenge for us without yelp. There were so many and after our snack mistake we really wanted to make a good choice. We walked by several, and picked the one that looked best to us.
Ruby slept through our meal and it was really nice to enjoy a meal together and gather our thoughts. Even though the food itself was pretty basic, it was fun to enjoy our first street-side Parisian café meal. Ruby even woke up just in time to help us finish our plates.
With a full evening ahead of us we decided to head to the Luxembourg gardens. It was a good choice, because they are beautiful. The only bummer is that everything costs money including the playgrounds, though it’s free to get in. So we stuck around the pond in front of the palace. Ruby loved watching the little sailboats and birds.
They started kicking everyone out at sunset so we headed out in search of frites. Kaytea had mapped out a good frites place by Luxembourg gardens to try out, De Clerq. We needed a win in the food category for the day, and this was it, they were so good.
Oh, and on our walk to the frites place we realized we were very close to the Pantheon, so we swung and were able to see it in the last of the daylight.
At this point we had a choice to make. Our Navigo metro card didn’t start until the next day, so we could either pay to take the metro back to our apartment or walk.
We made the very poor decision of walking back, and while it was a nice way to see a lot of Paris, it was much longer than expected. Needless to say, we were exhausted. In total we walked 13.5 miles, that’s a half marathon, folks.