Sightseeing in Paris: Rodin Museum, Orsay Museum and Eiffel Tower

Paris Travel Blog

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Right across my hotel, and a breakfast haunt

My first morning in Paris! Well, my first in about 25 years that is.... the city sure smells and sounds the same so far. Got up around 7am to a noisy street outside, the typical Underground rush and all the stop-and-go b'fast joints up and selling away. I'm so far not very pleased with the breakfast offered in France, it's a bit too less for my appetite. But in any case, I picked up a raspberry flavoured loaf and olive bread (well kind of looked like olive on a small pizza base), enough to fill me up for the next few hours. Left the hotel by about 9am, and first stop of the day was Musée Rodin. I do remember reading various travel books and sites talking about the rush for Paris museums and I was thinking "yeah right, how big can it be?" until I saw the queue outside, and this was at 915a, with a good 15 mins to go! I bought my 4 day Museum pass here which I would say is totally worth it.

The Musée Rodin, or the Musée National Auguste Rodin houses the work of sculptor Rodin who developed most of his work in the later part of the 19th century. At first, his work was considered, erm.

Museé Rodin
..shall we say a bit randy (whch isn't surprising if you look at the number of nudes, not to mention every other statue is a couple in a compromising position, so to speak!) but later he went on to be regarded as the face of French sculpture. The biggest draw here is the Thinker (Le Penseur) which has its own reserved place amidst trees. But to me, the biggest draw of this museum wasn't his work, but just how spaced out and atmospheric the museum was. Being one of the first to hit the museum, seeing the main building from the lake was incredible. Very royal.

Next stop was Hotel Des Invalides or coloquially better known as Napoleon's Tomb. At first sight, this place is like a big cathedral (well the tomb area is), and you're thinking "is that it?". That's one thing I realised about Paris, it's deceptive! The entrances to the attractions aren't in grand locations, you don't see the whole thing as you enter sometimes, not to mention most attractions have 2-3 entrances so depending on where you enter, you sometimes just don't realise the enormity of the place. Anyway, the tomb by itself is non-descript although I liked how they've kept it in the basement and you have a very colourful walk around the tomb.

Le Penseur/The Thinker
I thought we were done here, but NO! A quick walk up to the neighbouring building and I was then stunned to see how big it all was.  I had an energy break of spinach quiche and chocolate mousse before continuing my walk around the museum. God this is big.... one thing I'm noticing about France already (and don't know yet, if I like it or not), everything is big. And dare I say it, an overkill. When you enter a museum, you had better be prepared to walk for a long, long time. The other thing is, museums aren't marked very well so you never know where you're going and in which "path" or track you're supposed to be on. Many times you just wander into a room, and that takes you into another, and another.... you get the picture.

Anyway, back to this museum, it was originally built in the late 17th century to house invalid and crippled soldiers. Today, it's a vast museum of all sorts of knick-knacks from war and royalty. You have the armours, the jewellry, the dresses, the portraits, the guns and rifles, the swords, and surprisingly my favourite bit was the hi-tech Charles de Gaulle section and the whole voice recognition thing... very fancy! I thoroughly enjoyed it, not to mention had a nice break.

The Gates of Hell
I really don't recall seeing the rest of the museum - probably because it was big? or being my first day in Paris, I really wanted to be out and about on the streets and not spending precious sunlight hours stuck inside a museum seeing what kind of handbag was fashionable in the 18th century. Anyway we left this place by 1pm, and made our way along the very colourful Pont Alexandre III, and onto our next stop of the day...

Musée D'Orsay was a railway station once upon a time, and has now been converted into floors of arts, portraits and furniture. Yep, what they call as the Belle Epoque section. One can find paintings by van Gogh, Monet, Degas and Renoir. I really liked this place but again, found it quite disorganised. I think my problem by now is that my feet were killing me, especially my left ankle, and I badly needed a break.

sculptures inside
Got a coffee/sandwich break in the top floor and spent some time in the atmospheric terrace overlooking the Seine and the Louvre. this was very nice, the weather was also very mild and enjoyable.

Now, the next stop of the night was... well Eiffel Tower. OK, so I'm not going to say anything new that people haven't said already - yes, that it looks ugly by day but lights up during the night and has become synonymous with Paris. The stairs were closed so we had to settle with the lift all the way. And even though this is a cliched thing, by God it's amazing! The whole of Paris looks so symmetric and so nice. I'm a little skeptical of seeing these "big towns" from the top, especially after my disappointing experience with the London Eye. Same goes with Bruges for that matter.

Hotel Des Invalides
But Paris....wow, who designed it??! :) Everything looks so symmetric and almost like a little Legoland. I was very impressed, and took lots of photos as you can see.

Final stop of the night was crossing the road to the Trocadéro for some Kodak moment shots. The place was nice but other than pictures, it's really crowded and you can't make much of this place, just shoot and go home!

Dinner that night was the usual place, I had a veg pizza with potatoes and some wine.

The Church at Invalides
Very delish!

 

 

cotton_foam says:
"stuck inside a museum seeing what kind of handbag was fashionable in the 18th century." --- LOl!! My eyes would be rolling big if you said you stayed inside just for those ages!!
Seriously Vic I am reading blogs for Paris and I thought you might have written a blog so I came to check...no I'm not going just interested to read about Paris 😊
Posted on: Dec 12, 2014
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Right across my hotel, and a break…
Right across my hotel, and a brea…
Museé Rodin
Museé Rodin
Le Penseur/The Thinker
Le Penseur/The Thinker
The Gates of Hell
The Gates of Hell
sculptures inside
sculptures inside
Hotel Des Invalides
Hotel Des Invalides
The Church at Invalides
The Church at Invalides
Inside the Church
Inside the Church
The ceiling
The ceiling
Napoleons tomb
Napoleon's tomb
quick energy break - spinach quich…
quick energy break - spinach quic…
Museum with ancient swords and stu…
Museum with ancient swords and st…
Inside the courtyard
Inside the courtyard
Pont Alexandre III
Pont Alexandre III
Just look how lined and manicure…
Just look how "lined" and manicur…
Place de la Concorde
Place de la Concorde
Museé dOrsay
Museé d'Orsay
Just liked this random picture of …
Just liked this random picture of…
Inside Orsay
Inside Orsay
Loved this miniature view of the c…
Loved this miniature view of the …
The most controversial portrait of…
The most controversial portrait o…
View from the top most floor of th…
View from the top most floor of t…
In the patio on the 6th floor
In the patio on the 6th floor
Loved this colour/weekday theme
Loved this colour/weekday theme
Outside the Orsay
Outside the Orsay
Hmm.... guess!
Hmm.... guess!
View from atop the Eiffel - Ecole …
View from atop the Eiffel - Ecole…
View of Hotel Des Invalides and Lo…
View of Hotel Des Invalides and L…
View of the Trocadéro
View of the Trocadéro
Tour de Montparnasse in the backgr…
Tour de Montparnasse in the backg…
Arc de Triomphe
Arc de Triomphe
Sacre Couer
Sacre Couer
The Seine
The Seine
Taken from the Trocadéro
Taken from the Trocadéro
Well deserved dinner of veg pizza …
Well deserved dinner of veg pizza…
Paris
photo by: Sweetski