Another overcast day, but I didn't let that stop me. I walked over to the bus and rode down to Hotel de Ville where I changed to a bus that would take me to Place de la Concorde. My destination was l'Orangerie. As I walked from the bus stop toward the museum, I crossed Rue Royale with a great view of La Madeleine at the other end of it. The first thing that came to mind was Laduree, and the second thing was macarons. So a quick detour up Rue Royale. It was a little past 10 and as I got close, I thought I hope they're open. They were, and there was no line. I bought 6 macarons for 11.80 euros. I'll have some for dessert tonight, then I can compare them to ones I've already had from Galleries Lafayette and Pierre Hermes. Frankly, I think it is more a case of the best ones being the ones you are eating now.
As I walked back to La Concorde, another woman picked a gold ring off the the sidewalk in front of me - nearly the same spot where it happened last week - she looked at me and kept going, didn't try the scam on me.
When I arrived at l'Orangerie there were two lines. One for people needing to buy tickets and one for those of us with prepurchased tickets or passes. Neither was very long, but the latter was shorter. They control the number of people in the museum at any one time. When people leave, more people are allowed to enter. Again, the line was for security, and once I'd passed security (walk through metal detector and a peek into my purse) I could go directly into the museum with my pass.
The reason people go to the l'Orangerie is to see Monet's water lily paintings. These are huge canvases, four in each of two oval rooms. They depict the pond in his garden at different times of day and different seasons. I have to say they were not as breathtaking as they were the first time I saw them in 1994 - probably because I knew what to expect this time. Since 1994, the building has been renovated and the canvases have been moved from the lower level to the upper level where they are seen under defused natural lighting from a huge skylight in the roof. They are now displayed the way Monet wanted them to be displayed, according to his own plans. They are still awesome and anyone who is seeing them for the first time has to be blown away.
On the lower level of the museum is a collection of art by Renoir, Matisse, Cezanne, Picasso, and other artists. It is a very nice collection and probably under appreciated since Monet's huge canvases are the big draw. But I appreciated that I could actually get close to these paintings as there are not the crowds of people as at the d'Orsay.
I walked back to the bus stop and got on a bus headed to Boulevard Haussmann and the Musee Jacquemart-Andre. This museum is actually a 19th century mansion that was owned by a couple who had no children, but travelled around the world collecting art and decorative items to furnish their home. It has been a museum for about 100 years. It is more like visiting a furnished house than a museum, but it is gorgeous and there are some very interesting things in it. They have a very nice cafe where I had a tomato and cheese quiche and salad for lunch.
Riding the bus along Boulevard Haussmann, I passed several embassies, including the American and British embassies. It was neat seeing the American flag flying over our embassy.
I changed buses at the Opera, and while looking for the correct stop for the #29, I went into a Swatch boutique for a few minutes. When I started to leave, it was pouring rain, so I darted back inside to get my umbrella out. It rained so hard! Fortunately, I wasn't far from the bus stop and the bus came fairly quickly. The rain had mostly stopped by the time I got off the bus at the top of my street.
I went to the apartment to dry off and rest for awhile. As it was not longer raining, I went out again to go over to Rue Montorgueil, the popular market street that I visited the first Sunday I was here. There were more shops open today, and it was quite busy. There was even a demonstration of sorts in front of one of the supermarket chains, protesting how eggs are produced. At least that's the gist of what I could figure out. I bought some peaches and bananas at Le Palais de Fruit. I now have enough food for the three breakfasts I have remaining in the apartment - just need to go out to get a fresh baguette or croissant each morning.
Walking back to the apartment it started to rain again, but not so hard this time. More charcuterie for dinner tonight. Some terrine and/or sausage from the Charcuterie down the street, and little cheese, some salad, some wine, and baguette - makes a nice supper.