I’m now on a Eurostar train, just about to enter the tunnel from France to England, and I thought that I would at least start this post and upload it later when I have an Internet connection. (Jill took this weep timed photo at exactly the right place).
Our last days in Paris were pleasant, although cool. On Saturday, it was sunny and on Sunday it was raining. On both days it has been about 6C.
With the nice weather on Sunday, we decided an outdoors day would be good so we headed off to the Eiffel Tower. With a few changes of train in the Metro it was an easy trip, although we found that connecting through the Metro station at Madeleine was like a maze, having to walk through a complex series pedestrian tunnels full of turns and twists, complete with walking both upstairs and downstairs to transfer from one line to another. Thank goodness that someone who originally knew where they were going had put up some signs to provide directions.
Near the ‘Eyefull Tower’ we found a building that we had seen on a previous garden tour with a vertical garden on it’s North facing wall that was designed by Mr Patrick Blanc. This is very interesting and quite stunning. There is a much smaller version of this type of garden in the Qantas First Class lounge in Sydney and I think that I posted a picture of it on my 365 Photos Page.
The area around the tower was very busy, as usual, and complete with the normal number of black people selling miniature souvenirs of the tower. They really have no other use than to go straight to the games room collection of the actor Michael Caton in the movie ‘The Castle’. Some were gold, others are bronze and some even have multicolored LEDs that light up in a range of rainbow colours.
We walked from the tower, across the Parc de Mars towards the Ecole de Militaire at the other end. The army again had a presence proving a security patrol. Apart from their physical presence in camouflaged uniforms and automatic weapons, they seemed to be very vigilant – eyes constantly scanning and with full attention to their patrolling duties. Near the Military School, we found a small, but very noisy protest underway. People in some unrecognizable costumes were protesting about something to do with human rights. It was probably a good protest, but the police had left, as did most of the crowd, so the protesters were maintaining their rage, even without an audience.
Nearby was the very impressive Hotel Des Invalides, the hospital for wounded veterans and the site of Napoleons’ tomb. We didn’t go inside, as we had visited here on a previous trip, so after a few photos in the golden afternoon light, we headed back to the Metro for a train ride home.
Dinner that night, was in a more salubrious restaurant near the river, complete with an Australian waiter.
It was raining on Sunday, so we decided to spend the day at Musee D’Orsay, the old railway station, and now converted into the largest Impressionist art gallery in the world. The gallery is undergoing reservations and some exhibits were not available to see.
They have actually done a very smart thing during the renovations. Many of the paintings have been loaned to galleries around the world, so that room for the renovation has been maximized and the paintings have not been damaged during the works. One of the more interesting things to see here is the way that painting has evolved over time as you trace your way through the series of collections from Pre-Impressionist, Impressionist and then finally Post-Impressionist eras.
I had my pocket picked on a previous trip to this museum, so I was extra careful on this visit and thankfully, without incident, I had enough money available to pay for dinner in a nearby brasserie.
This morning, it was simply a case of packing bags and catching a taxi back to Garde du Nor for our trip back to London and our flight home tomorrow.