Paris, France Day 3:
- Orsay Museum
- Rodin Museum
- Invalides (Napoleon’s Tomb)
- Roland Garros Finals
- Arc de Triomph
- Basilica Sacre Coeur
- Paris Farewell
Orsay Museum is popular because of the impressionist/post-impressionist paintings by Van Gogh, Monet, Manet, Gauguin, etc. The queue was already long when I got there. They do accept the Paris Museum Pass, but they don’t give priority or have a separate queue for those with passes. While waiting, took a few pictures from the outside.
There’s a lot of beautiful impressionist art inside. It’s quite surreal to have read about the paintings and then see the real thing in the museum. You can see the brush strokes and texture up close, which isn’t something you get to see in a picture.
After exploring the Orsay museum, I walked down to the Rodin Museum where the famous Thinker sculpture resides. The crowds are a lot less here. There’s a cute garden with different sculptures inside the museum complex, the centerpiece of which is the Thinker.
Invalides – Napoleon’s Tomb
Just across the Rodin Museum is the Musee de l’Armée which houses Napoleon’s Tomb. It’s quite grand inside, with Napoleon’s giant sacrophagus at the centerpiece.
There is also a beautiful church altar which is comparable to the Vatican’s, with golden sculptures, marble and painted ceilings.
Roland Garros Finals
We then went to watch the finals between Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer at Roland Garros. We watched at one of the nearby stadiums where there is a giant screen in the middle. Watching with us were the ballboys of the tournament. They were divided between the fans of Federer, and the fans of Nadal.. although based on the volume of their cheers, the majority were in favor of Federer.
In the end, Rafa won, as he usually does on clay.. After the match, we walked to the metro on our way to Arc de Triomph
Arc de Triomph
We made our way to the Charles de Gaulle – Etoile station which is right next to the Arc. Bought our tickets to the top and climbed the spiral staircase. Surprisingly, there were no crowds and the view was fantastic. The timing to go at sunset was also a plus, providing a relaxing atmosphere as the sky started displaying hints of orange mixed with the blue sky.
From the Arc de Triomph, we walked down Champs Elysees. It was nightfall by then and all the shops were closed, but all the lights were on which still made the walk beautiful and enjoyable. It started raining and getting cold, so we seeked shelter at McDonald’s: had dinner and coffee, then went home.
Basilica Sacre Coeur
The next day we still had enough time to squeeze in a visit to Basilica Sacre Coeur before our schedule train departure. It was near the Paris Nord station so it fit into the itinerary. It was a relatively long walk going up from the metro station, and the weather was not cooperating, so after taking a few pictures, we just made our way back.
All in all, our stay was an enjoyable one where we saw a lot of great sites and tasted great food. Sylvie from Coleurs Bed and Breakfast was a really nice host, serving up great breakfast each morning (Croissants were delicious) and providing us with all the things needed from an accommodation. Hope we could come back next time.
Next Stop: Bruges, Belgium