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Monet's Walls and Tennis Balls

Paris & Roland Garros

overcast 22 °C

28th September 2013

Our first day on our own in Paris without a tour group!

Oh wow, a sleep in. It was amazing. We didn't get up until after 9am and then went down to breakfast. It was in a different room again but we found it easily. We saw a few people we knew from our group and had a chat with them. We thought we would take our time packing up and didn't leave the hotel until midday. We bravely took the Metro to our new hotel, Windsor Opera, a lot closer in to Paris centre. It was a bit hair-raising considering it was the first time we had used the Metro at all on this trip. We got there in the end. The Metro was so busy and here we were trying to get on with 3 large cases. Next time I think we will Taxi!

Well of course we got lost finding the hotel and got turned about and around again. We retraced our steps and realised we had walked straight past the opening because it was a laneway behind an arch. We finally got there and it is brilliant! The foyer is boutique and very modern. Glass roofed atrium with two rockets in stainless steel either side of the reception door. It has an aeroplane theme, and it is done very well. The room is amazing, the best we have had yet I think. We are in a nice area of Paris, but I didn't think the rooms would be finished off as nicely as this. The decor is arty and fresh. There is wifi in the rooms and it is very quick.

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So as not to waste an afternoon, we decided to go into Paris and view Musee De l'Orangerie. Ethan was keen to see this museum as he had just finished a project on Monet and this houses one of his masterpieces, perhaps the most famous - Water Lilies. Again we brave it on the Metro into Concorde - this tim without cases thank goodness! We walk a short way to the museum and join a short queue. Before long we are in the room with the Water Lilies. There are two oval rooms, very large rooms. The walls are lined with this beautiful piece. There is plenty of room, and seats for reflection and we take advantage of that and take our time to look at the exquisite work in this painting. It is said that after the horror of the First World War, Monet wanted his work to take on this aesthetic and poetic dimension, and provide a haven for peaceful meditation. It certainly does. Also in this museum are works by Picasso, Renoir, Cezanne and others. It took an hour to look at this relatively small place.

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We decided to take the Metro out to Roland Garros tennis stadium and tick that off the list. David really wanted to see it, and have a game there, but we did not bring racquets. It took a couple of Metros and some help from passersby to get us to the door. We found out that there was a museum, which we paid to go into thinking it would be about tennis?? Hmmm, it was more about Roland Garros's life than tennis so we were a little disappointed. We walked all around the block, about a 30minute walk, to try and see the main entrance. As we went we saw people playing a tournament and some coaching. It was interesting.

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A couple of Metro trips and we are back at the Windsor Opera. We think we may have some Lebanese food from a nearby shop we saw earlier, so we grab so mezza and bring it back to our hotel room. The tv goes on and after an exhausting day of walking and catching trains, we finally relax.

Posted by JenMF 07:48 Archived in France

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