Orsay, Can You See?

Saturday, October 19, 2013 Road Junkies 0 Comments

Our mission today was visiting Musée d'Orsay (pictured above), home to one of the world's best collections of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist art.   Of course, our real first stop was the lengthy queue at the museum's entrance to purchase tickets.  The line moved pretty quickly, and soon we had passed through the metal detector and bag search, purchased our tickets and were inside this former railway station turned art museum.
The Orsay houses France's national collection from the Impressionist, Post-Impressionist, and Art Nouveau periods. Many of the artists represented lived and worked in Paris at some point in their careers.
Pont Solferino
After a few hours there, we strolled across the Seine on the Pont Solferino footbridge.  Standing next to the bridge is a statue of Thomas Jefferson, once ambassador to France.  When he lived in the city, Jefferson often walked along the River Seine.  In his strolls, he followed the progress of construction on the Hotel de Salm (now home to the Musee National de la Legion d’Honneur).  He admired the design so much that when Jefferson returned home to Virginia, he had the original roof of his Monticello home removed and a dome installed, just like that of the Hotel Salm.
Dedicated on US Independence Day in 2006, the sculpture depicts Jefferson holding a quill in his right hand.  In his left is a drawing showing the original appearance of Monticello. And, of course, the monument is placed so that he is looking to the Hotel de Salm that inspired Monticello's transformation.
Love locks on the Pont Solferino
As we strolled across the bridge, we checked out some of the thousands of love locks attached to the railings. Legend says you seal your love when you write your names on the lock, attach it to a fixed object like a bridge and throw away the key.
From the bridge we took one last look at the glorious Orsay museum before entering Tuileries Gardens, the park that extends from the Louvre Museum to Place de la Concorde.  Created by Catherine de' Medici as the garden of the Tuileries Palace in 1564, it was eventually opened to the public in 1667 and became a public park after the French Revolution, evolving into a popular place for Parisians and visitors to meet, celebrate, stroll and relax.

After exploring the park for a while, we decided to call it a day.  Back at the Concorde Metro station, we caught a ride on the excellent Paris subway system for the trip back to Montmartre.
Thousands while away Saturday afternoon around Tuileries Gardens' octagonal basin.
At the Concorde Metro station
Pouvez-vous lire le français?
After another excellent meal at Le Coryllis, we were fortified to attempt laundry French style.  All three of us struggled to get the 'heat pump' dryer to take the moisture out of our laundry (which it purports to do without heat). Finally Jeanne found the interpretation of the flashing light online. Its condenser is overloaded with water and needs to be serviced.  Line dry it is, then.

Tomorrow, the Louvre!

Jeanne with the Orsay behind her
Musée d'Orsay