This morning we returned the car to Renault. It took over an hour to get into Paris. The return location was on the edge of the city but traffic even there was about as bad as it could be. All went well with the return. Leasing from Renault was as easy as it gets, we would highly recommend it.
A quick subway ride took us to the Musee Marmottan Monet, which is just across the river from the Eiffel Tower. It’s in a lovely town house that was built as a hunting lodge. (It’s much more grand than what we would ever consider a hunting lodge!) It was eventually inherited by an art historian in 1883. He proceeded to fill it with collections of art, sculptures and furniture, then left it to the Beaux-Arts Academy to become a museum in 1932. This museum has the world’s largest collection of works by Monet, bequeathed to the Academy by Monet’s son along with his house and garden in Giverny in 1966. This museum is a hidden gem, not very crowded but, sadly, I wasn’t allowed to take pictures.
I did take pictures of the Basilica Cathedral of St Denis, in a suburb north of Paris.
Constructed in the late 12th century over the tomb of St Denis, it was the first gothic cathedral built in Europe.
These are bronze doors. The stunning stained glass windows were restored in the 1800s.
St Denis is the burial place of the Kings of France. There are more that 70 carved tombs.
We headed back into the city for a short walk through the Place de la Concorde.
And a nice view of the Eiffel Tower.
Next was a visit to the Musee de l’Orangerie. This museum was closed for refurbishment when we were here last. It has the most amazing Monet exhibit, designed by Monet himself.
You gasp as you enter this completely white oval shaped room (and the guards shush you – no talking!) You are surrounded by four murals of The Water Lilies. There is a second white room with four more mural paintings, these with willows.
This museum has other collections too and visitors from all over the world.
Utrillo and Soutine.
We’ve had a great time in France. Tomorrow we train to Hamburg, 3 trains in fact! We will have a day to tour Hamburg before we board the Queen Mary II. After a stop in Southampton we will sail to NY. I will post again from there.