Larisa Choir Tour to Barcelona and Paris 2018! travel blog

Re-routed transportation

The Louvre

The Winged Victory

Venus de Milo

Lunch Break

Tuileries Garden

Musée de l'Orangerie

Musée d'Orsay

Starry Night Over the Rhône, Van Gogh

Day 6 of the trip was scheduled for “free time on your own,” so it became a “choose your own adventure” day! The morning certainly started off with a mini-adventure as I attempted to access my few years of high school French to help me navigate into Paris. The train station closest to our hotel was closed for the weekend as part of the Paris train strike, so I learned how to navigate the Paris bus, train, and metro systems that morning in order to meet back with my parents and aunties for our day of museum touring!

Before any touring could begin though, it was important to take a moment to fuel with a cafe au lait, prior to our marathon museum day!

The first museum we visited was the Louvre. The Louvre Museum is the world’s largest and most visited art museum. The history of the building is fascinating— originally built as a fortress in the 12th/13th centuries (medieval period), then became the residence of the French Kings, and became a museum in 1793. It has eight departments, of which we were only able to visit parts of 1 or 2 in order to see some specific art pieces. (Yes, we wanted to see “Mona Lisa,” among others). The statues were among some of the most stunning pieces that we saw there (see pictured “The Winged Victory,” and “Venus de Milo”).

After a couple of hours, we decided to take a break for lunch and found a beautiful French cafe, complete with live music from a small chamber group playing in the square right outside of where we were seated! The food was delicious, the company delightful, and the music was gorgeous! It was the perfect Paris afternoon!

My parents and I broke off for a portion of the afternoon to make our way to The Musée de l'Orangerie. This museum was my favorite of the three we visited due to the fact that it houses art from some of my favorite periods (impressionist and post-impressionist paintings), and is the permanent home of eight “Water Lilies” panels by Claude Monet! His concept of having these panels be a form of visual art meditation is absolutely beautiful to me, and I could have lost myself and all concept of time gazing upon all eight of them. They were mesmerizing!

Our final museum stop for the day was The Musée d'Orsay. This museum holds French art from the years 1848-1914! I will have to come back to this museum at some point! So many of my favorite artists are featured in this museum that houses the largest impressionist and post-impressionist masterpieces, and we left ourselves less than 2 hours to see as much as possible! The clock tower photo is from within the top level of the museum where we were able to admire a number of Van Gogh and Renoir masterpieces! To see some of the most famous artists’ works in person was astounding! I was awestruck!

The day concluded with dinner at one final cafe and a final mini-adventure to return to the hotel. My parents and Aunt Betty were uncomfortable with me traveling alone to the hotel on a day that the train station was closed, so they took the metro partway back with me and helped me track down a taxi for the rest of the trip back! I don’t know how I would have navigated back without their help! I now could say that I had used all forms of public transit— trains, planes, automobiles, metro, bus, oh and walking! Later that night we realized we had walked a total of 12+ miles for the day! I wasn’t kidding when I said it was a museum marathon day! :)

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