• Tag Archives Musee d’Orsay
  • Paris to Rouen to Cabourg (Normandy)

    Tuesday September 4, Cabourg, Normandy, France

    Monday we left Paris after renting a car and buying the obligatory baguette in Paris. First stop was Rouen, a little over an hour outside of Paris. It is the capital of Normandy and is known for its half-timbered houses, Astronomical Clock (Gros Horloge) and the Rouen Cathedral (among many gothic cathedrals in the city). Victor Hugo called it the town of 1000 bells for the many cathedrals and I now understand why!

    We drove to the city center and walked by the Rouen Cathedral of Notre Dame (which was closed to entry when we were there; they don’t open till 2pm on Mondays). The cathedral is also famous for having been painted by Monet several times; several of the paintings are in the Musee d’Orsey in Paris.

    Then we walked around the old town which is full of half timbered houses, some dating back to the 15th century. Most have been restored…there are over 2000 in the city. They are vividly painted and the old city is charming. Also in the old town is the Astrological Clock which is quite ornate.

    After leaving Rouen (well worth a trip and maybe an overnight stay), we headed on to Cabourg where we have a French/US International Club match later in the week. After checking into our hotel (which has some half-timbered features and is near the hippodrome, a big race track for horses) we set off the find the tennis club. There was some driving in circles but it ended up being quite close and we hit on the red clay courts which were very nice, and there were lots of them (and very few players).

    We ended the day at a creperie which was excellent. Potatoes, cheese, ham and egg…simple but delicious with a fantastic salade verte.

    More tennis today and some exploring of the town which is right on the ocean.

  • Paris: Museum & Wandering

    Today I had a plan to go to the Musee d’Orsay and to find a Christmas market. I took the slow way to the museum, getting off the Metro about a mile from the museum which allowed me to wander past the Place de la Concorde (which has a huge Ferris Wheel now along with a column) and the edge of the Tuilleries gardens and walk across the Seine en route to the Musee.

    The Musee d’Orsay is a portrait and sculpture museum. It’s not a modern art museum, but instead has rooms of Van Gogh, Manet, Monet, Pissaro and much more. I liked a lot of the paintings and spent a pleasant couple of hours wandering around the building. The building used to be a railway station and the big clock and curved ceiling reflects that. It was busy but the wait to buy a ticket was short and other than the Degas exhibit, the rooms were not overcrowded. 

    After I left the museum I walked to the Les Halles area, past the Louvre (which is huge!) I was trying to find a Christmas market and eventually I did. It wasn’t really all that impressive even though it’s apparently the largest in Paris. It had the usual stalls of food though with a French flair, which meant lots of cheese stalls, and not too many sausage and no gingerbread stalls that I saw. It was decorated nicely with twinkling lights above and on the Christmas trees, and there was a path lined by white trees leading to Santa (or so I assumed, I didn’t follow it).

    After leaving the fair, with some nice Tomme de Savoy cheese, I wandered around the Forum des Halles which is pretty much in the center of Paris. It was a bright and cheery mall with a Monoprix (sort of like a Target but with better food). I bought chocolate…Lindt, though Swiss, is featured predominantly here and there are lots of flavors one doesn’t see at home (pistachio, roasted sesame, etc).

    It was a pretty fun day and the weather hasn’t been too bad, in the 40s. Tomorrow I hope to get an early start for more museum going and shopping, the holidays make it very festive.