We began the day at the Rodin museum, an impressive display of sculptures and other artifacts of his life (the museum is housed in his former residence). N.B - the sculpture below is my first attempt at HDR photography - criticism welcome. The green leaves from the garden were a nice contrast to the stark bronze of the sculpture, but I wanted to get the shadows and highlights on the work as well. This was hand-held, quick shutter burst, with +/- 2 stop exposure bracketing.
The gardens are nothing short of amazing at the museum - it would be worth an annual pass just for the privilege of relaxing on a bench and reading amongst such works of art.
The surprise highlight of the day for me was the war museum at Les Invalides. I wasn't expecting much, but the WWI and WWII chronological exhibits were very well done - nearly as high quality as the Imperial War Museum in London. Unfortunately we didn't budget more than about 30 minutes or this stop and I was continually shooed along.
From Les Invalides we walked to the Musee d'Orsay, one of my all-time favorites. Museum fatigue was in full force for the boys, so everyone else did a quick highlights tour while I stayed for 2-3 hours for some more in-depth investigation. Rick Steve's guide (not far removed from the one I used when last visiting in 1990) does a great job of illustrating the transition and contrast into the Impressionist era.
Everyone else left the museum to visit the Jardin du Luxembourg, an expansive public park that would prove to be a great resting and play area. Julie paid for Matthew to enter the playground area, with mostly injury-free results.
When I arrived Jacob and I wandered around in search of the chess games. There was some solid play going on, and some hot tempers at times. We decided to just watch and not play.
We spent the evening wandering the steps and alleys of Montmarte, home of bohemians like Dali and Picasso and cabarets like the Moulin Rouge.
There was music in the plaza, jugglers in the streets, and craziness in the cabaret district. Very thematic.
We were ready for more Indian food and found a tiny but great choice in Shenaz. The staff was very patient and helpful and we had quite a feast. And, thankfully, no sausages.
Our final day began with a visit to the holy chapel Sainte-Chapelle. Beautiful gothic architecture and stained glass.
And how about this - the French edition of the Pillars of the Earth boardgame sitting there in the gift shop.
After a visit to the Jewish district and a great Israeli / Mediterranean lunch feast, our last stop was to the Pompidou Centre. The kids had a great time ogling the sometimes, shall we say, evocative art in this bastion of modern art and abstract expressionism. I figured the red rhino was a pretty safe picture to post.
That's it! Only three months later and I finish my Europe postings. For those of you still paying attention, thanks for your patience.