Monday, August 29, 2011


Monday 25 July
In the morning we went on a bus tour of Paris viewing lots of palaces and other grand buildings - Paris has no shortage of grand buildings. We had a photo stop at one building which was built as a hospital and which is now part hospital and part army museum.
The next stop was the Eiffel Tower to view Paris from the second storey - very crowded (we had tickets but had to wait 30 minutes for the lift) - very claustrophobic.
Had only a short time to take a few pictures then queue for the lift to return to the bus. All in all not an experience that I enjoyed. The views of the city, however, were impressive. The buildings in Paris are built in a similar stone providing a monchromatic effect. A planning decision was made that ultra high buildings should not be built in the inner city area. The one tall building that was built before this planning law was in place stands out like a sore thumb.

In the afternoon we visited Le Louvre.
The art museum is housed in former palace buildings with a modern glass entrance in the quadrangle between the buildings that have been used for exhibitions since the 1880s. The statue of Louis XIV - another memory of school history - is one of the many statues in this area and gardens.
We purchased tickets from the Concierge at the hotel so did not have to queue for tickets however once inside it was not obvious how to get to the exhibition floors. Once again it was very crowded. We decided to see the Mona Lisa first and the crowds were incredible. Eventually had a view of the painting which despite at least two layers of glass is worth seeing. We then escaped to view some of the other European paintings but it was difficult to appreciate them as it was not possible to stand back and view them without a crowd standing in front or having someone taking a photo of someone else in front of the painting.

Escaping from Le Louvre we queued for entry at the Musee de l'Orangerie  where we viewed eight panels of Monet's NymphĂ©as or water lilies in two round viewing spaces. The paintings are quite dramatic especially when viewed from a distance in order to appreciate the depth portrayed in the paintings. We then had a look at other paintings in the collection mainly by other impressionist artists plus some post-impressionist works. All in all this was a much more rewarding gallery experience.
When walking through the gardens outside the Musee de l'Orangerie you come across sculptures by artists such as Henry Moore and Auguste Rodin.
In the evening we attended the dinner show at Le Moulin Rouge . What an evening! The show was fantastic. Fast moving, bright, colourful entertainment. As well as the dancing there was an excellent juggling act, an acrobatic duo and a magician / comedian. Non stop reformances. When we left people were queued up for the second performance of the evening.

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