EuroAdventure Day 15: Musee d'Orsay, Notre Dame, and Sol Semilla

(posted by Emily)

Thursday 10 July 
Daily Step Count: 21,089

We woke up to another rainy day on Thursday. Since we didn't have high hopes for our cheese/bread/fruit picnic in front of the Eiffel Tower outside, we decided to make the best of it and have the picnic on the floor of our flat for breakfast! I ran out to grab bread and apples, and we put together a cheese plate, toasted the croissants, and made coffee. 

cheeze plate
maybe the croissants were in the toaster for too long......still yummy!

It still counts if we can see the Eiffel Tower out the window, right? :)

Because it was going to be another rainy morning, we decided to go to the Musee d'Orsay. The museum is inside a former train station, and houses art from the mid 1800s to 1914. That includes lots and lots of Impressionist paintings, like Monets and Pissaros, and post-Impressionist works by Van Gough, too. Technically, you are not supposed to take photos in the museum, but I had taken a few before realizing that...and then I snuck some more.... 

a fairly long line to get in, but it moved quickly enough

looking out the window toward the Louvre

inside the museum

studies for Sunday on La Grand Jatte, one of my favorites

After an hour or two at the museum, we walked over to the Tuileries, the garden/park across from the Louvre. We had had high hopes of sitting and reading for a while there on this trip, but the rain kept throwing a wrench in our plans. We took a few minutes to enjoy prime seats by the fountain, but it was too cold to sit for long. 

Since entrance to Notre Dame is free, we decided to wander down there next. The line to get in was pretty long, but moved quickly. It was interesting to see the contrasts between this cathedral and Saint Bavo in Gent--Notre Dame was packed. It was almost shoulder to shoulder in the throng the whole time. There was a concert going on, and despite signs that ask for silence, it was pretty noisy, too. The chapels all along the side of the church and behind the altar were very simple as well, focused mostly on the sianed glass windows. I felt like it was the opposite of Saint Bavo in every respect. In Gent, it was so quiet, and we could wander at our own speed. There was a lot to see there too, since the cathedral was so oppulent. We were in and out of Notre Dame in probably 15 minutes. It could have been less, if we hadn't stopped to read the display about the church's construction. Glad to have checked it off the list, but I don't need to go again. We both definitely enjoyed Saint Bavo much more. 

We walked a bit further after Notre Dame, in search of a Metro station, and happened upon the plaza where we watched Olympic swimming outside in 2012. 

Next up was lunch/linner/dinner at one of our favorites, Sol Semilla. The restaurant serves a rustic style plate of the day, like Avalon, and has a soup that is Rick's favorite. We just recently ran out of the package of soup mix he bought last time we were here, so we made sure to pick up two packs this time. We each had a soup, shared the plate of the day, shared dessert. 

We headed home by way of the Eiffel Tower. Since it wasn't really raining anymore, I wanted to get our picture in front of the tower, recreating a photo we took in 2012. That one is on my camera (hooray, 10 second timer!), so you'll check it out on Facebook!

It was definitely time to wash some clothes. The washing machine at the flat was a little suspect, so tub laundry it was. Luckily, there was an electric drying rack (which heated up gently to help dry the clothes), and a big drying rack, so we had planty of room to get everything dried. 

It was fun to see the Eiffel Tower at night--it flashes on the hour for five mniutes, and we got to see that at least 3 times that night. 

Getting a bit hungry, we decided to run out for some dinner/snack. We found pasta and sauce, and hummus and chips at the market and Rick got dinner started while I did the laundry. He snapped a few photos of me helping him finish up. 

A long day, with sore bodies, but still a good one :) 



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